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C. LLOYD TUCKEY, M.D. Aberd., 




Jourff) (SbUton, gteotseb cm& (Snlctrfleb. 

New York: G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS. 















The large third edition of 'Psycho-therapeutics' having 
been exhausted, and the book being out of print, I am asked 
to issue a new edition. 

During the ten years which have elapsed since the former 
edition, the practice of hypnotism has made satisfactorv 
progress ; and I think one may say it has now taken its 
proper place as a recognised form of medical treatment. 
A good deal of new material has been added, and I have 
endeavoured to make the book as practical as possible. 

C. L. T. 

88, Park Street, 

London, W., 

March, 1900. 


The fact that the second edition of 'Psycho-therapeutics ' 
was exhausted within two years of the first appearance of 
the book affords at once an indication of the interest with 
which hypnotism is regarded, and a justification for the 
issue of a new and larger edition. 

The increased size of the present volume is due to the 
wish many persons have expressed for a book dealing more 
fully with the theory of Psycho-therapeutics, and it is hoped 
that the additional matter will be found to throw some 
light on the subject. 

I have endeavoured to treat the question with fairness 
and frankness, and I shall consider myself well rewarded 
if I have succeeded in putting it before my medical readers 
in such a shape as to induce them to make trial of hypnotic 

I have again to thank Dr. Habgood for his kind assistance 

in preparing this edition. 

C. L. T. 


October, ii 


In bringing before the profession a second edition of 
' Psycho-therapeutics,' I must thank my critics for the 
kindly manner in which they received the book a few 
months ago. It professed merely to be an introduction 
to the subject, and it seems to have fairly well fulfilled its 

The present edition, while claiming only the modest 
position of its predecessor, is considerably enlarged, and 
contains additional chapters on the physiology and psycho- 
logy of hypnotism, on simulation, and on my personal 
experience, which will, I hope, render it a useful handbook 
for practitioners who have not the time to devote to more 
elaborate and systematic works. 

Dr. William Habgood has kindly assisted me by revising 

the proofs. 

C. L. T. 

January, 1890. 


In bringing forward this little book on Treatment by 
Suggestion, I feel that, though I must crave indulgence 
for the shortcomings of the writer, no apology is necessary 
for introducing so important a subject. 

The Nancy treatment has during the last few years 
attracted so much interest among men of science and 
members of the medical profession on the Continent, that 
it seems strange the knowledge of it in this country is almost 
entirely theoretical. The system of psycho-therapeutics has 
so far attained its fullest development in Holland, where 
in every large town it is followed by at least one well- 
qualified practitioner; while in Germany, Russia, Sweden, 
and, indeed, every European country, its position is secured 
by the support of leading physicians, and by the success 
attending their practice. In every country, I believe, the 
introduction of the system was at first opposed by persons 
who feared the popularization of so potent an agent ; but 
as the beneficial results of the treatment became manifest 
opposition decreased, and has now almost died out. This 
is doubtless due chiefly to the fact that the treatment has 
not been allowed to fall into the hands of ignorant and 
unqualified practitioners, but has been accepted by men of 
high character and professional repute. The dangers of 
hypnotism have been proved chimerical : in proper hands 
no undesirable medical results can occur through its 
practice, and there is, I believe, hardly one authenticated 
case of its being used for a criminal purpose in the countries 


where it is most frequently employed by medical men. 
More than this can hardly be said for any system of 
medical treatment. 

But while maintaining that hypnotism has been very 
little used for criminal purposes, we should be foolish to 
blink the fact that it might conceivably, under certain 
circumstances, be a dangerous weapon in unprincipled 
hands, and that its injudicious use might lead to physical 
and mental ills ; but such evil results are in a very great 
measure preventible. Wherever hypnotism has been 
largely adopted as a valuable aid in the treatment of 
disease, its importance has been formally recognised, and 
its employment by charlatans, either as a toy at public 
exhibitions, or in unauthorized medical practice, has been 
prohibited by law. 

Medical electricity is only now emerging from the limbo 
of quackery, because for years the medical profession 
allowed it to be exploited by ' professors,' who used it as 
a universal remedy in all cases, suitable and unsuitable. 
The Nancy system has been successful on the Continent 
because it is practised there by qualified physicians and 
surgeons, whose knowledge and experience has taught 
them where the treatment would be likely to succeed, and 
where it would prove ineffectual. I here advocate its use 
not as a universal remedy or as a supplanter of ordinary 
medical treatment, but as a powerful auxiliary in combating 
many forms of disease not readily reached by other 

C. L. T. 


January i, 1889. 




Introduction ....... x 


Examples showing the Power of the Mind over the Body. — Anaes- 
thesia produced by the Imagination without Chloroform. — 
Cures effected by the Imagination and by Mental Emotions. 
— Illness and Functional Disorders induced by Morbid 
Direction of Thought. — Organic Changes possible from the 
same Cause. — Illness, and perhaps Death, caused by Sug- 
gestion of Symptoms. — Auto-Suggestion. — Simulated Death. 
— Cures at Shrines and Holy Places. — Touching for the 
King's Evil. — Modern Instances of Efficacy of Royal Touch 



Power of Mind and Body increased by Concentration of Attention 
and Energy. — Suppression of one Faculty tends to increase 
the Development of others. — Concentration of Mind on one 
Idea in Somnambulism, and Performance of Tasks impos- 
sible when Awake. — Some Tragical Results of Natural Som- 
nambulism. — Artificial or Hypnotic Somnambulism may be 
turned to Therapeutic Purposes. — Natural Sleep may pass 
into Hypnotic Sleep, and vice versa. — The Faculties may be 
aroused and intensified in Hypnotic Somnambulism - 34—45 


Dr. Licbeault of Nancy. — Description of his Treatment. — System 
free from Mysticism. — Curative Suggestions. — Explanation 



of the Phenomena. — Definition of Hypnotism. — Absolute 
Sleep or Unconsciousness unnecessary for Curative Treatment. 
— Theory of Professor Charcot not accepted by the School 
of Nancy. — Proportion of Persons Hypnotizable and Degrees 
of Hypnotic Influence. — Phenomena of Somnambulism out- 
side the Sphere of Psycho-Therapeutics - - - 46 — 60 


Psycho-Therapeutics not an exclusive System of Treatment. — 
Some Diseases found to benefit from it. — Organic Processes 
affected by Hypnotic Suggestion. — Blisters and Stigmata so 
caused. — Treatment especially useful in Neurotic Diseases. 
— Hysteria, Hypochondriasis, Dipsomania, and the Opium 
Habit. — Moral Depravity. — Double Consciousness. — Per- 
manence of Cures. — Hypnotism distinct from Magnetism. — 
Possible Abuse of Hypnotism not a Bar to its Use in Medical 
Treatment. —Restrictions and Precautions necessary - 61 — 1: 


Some Points in the Physiology and Psychology of Hypnotism. — 
Authorities and their Theories. — Expectant Attention, Sug- 
gestion, and Inhibition. — Induction of Functional Aphasia, 
and what it teaches. — Exaggeration or Suppression of certain 
Senses and Functions in the Hypnotic State. — Automatism 
in Hypnotism and in the Pathological State. — Amnesia. — 
Hypnotism compared with the Action of Poisons. — The 
Double Brain : its Single Action in Health and possible 
Dual Action in Disease and in the Hypnotic State. — Cases 
illustrating this. — The Induction of Automatism without 
Hypnotism ------ 124 — 144 


Reality of Hypnotic Phenomena. — Simulation Tests. — Practical 
Directions for Medical Hypnotism. — Absence of Personal 
Element in the Nancy Treatment. — Method of Fascination. 
— Voisin's Success in Lunacy. — Forel's Opinion of the Treat- 
ment. — Some Diseased Conditions benefited by Hypnotism. 
— Medical Education essential for its successful Practice. — 
Aids to Hypnotism - - 145 — 218 




Inhibition. — Definition. — Dynamogenesis. — Theories of Brown- 
Sdquard. — Lauder Brunton. — Interference. — Experiments 



Natural Analogies of Hypnosis. — Relation of Hypnosis to Sleep 
and other Conditions. — Theory of Hypnosis. — Leucomaines 
and Animal Alkaloids ----- 234 — 261 


Part I. — Some cases successfully treated by Hypnotism and 
Suggestion by other Authors: 1. Aggravated Hysteria; 
2. Hysterical Contracture ; 3. Hysterical Aphonia ; 4. 
Chorea; 5. Hysteria; 6. Pseudo-paralysis; 7. Writer's 
Cramp; 8. Rheumatism; 9. Articular Rheumatism; 10. 
Neuralgia of Fifth Nerve; 11. Sciatica; 12. Nocturnal 
Enuresis; 13. Amenorrhcea ; 14. Menorrhagia; 15. Partial 
Hemiplegia ; 16. Hypochondriasis ; 17. Hysteria and the 
Chloral Habit ; 18. Moral Depravity ; 19. Neuralgia and 
Hemiplegia ; 20. Headache and Dyspepsia ; 21. Chronic 
Alcoholism ; 22. Neurasthenia and Deficiency of Saliva ; 
23. Confinement under Hypnotism ; 24. Loss of Speech for 
Ten Years ; 25. Functional Paraplegia and Hemianesthesia ; 
26 to 29. Epilepsy; 30. Intermittent Fever; 31. Syphilitic 
Retinitis ; 32. Epilepsy ; ^3- Acute Mania : Prolonged 
Hypnosis ._.__- 262 — 291 

Part II. — Some cases treated by the Author : 1. Insomnia ; 
2. Neurasthenia ; 3. Writer's Cramp ; 4. Tabes Dorsalis ; 
5. Torticollis ; 6. Traumatic Headache ; 7. Chronic Diar- 
rhoea ; 8. Paroxysmal Sneezing ; 9. Chronic Constipation ; 
10. Supra-orbital Neuralgia; 11. Spinal Irritation; 12. Func- 
tional Heart Trouble; 13. Symptoms dependent on Organic 
Heart Disease ; 14. Enuresis Nocturna ; 15. Gouty Sciatica ; 
16. Chronic Rheumatism ; 17. Nervous Dyspepsia ; 18. 
Amenorrhcea ; 19. Functional Dysmenorrhcea ; 20. Post- 
Parturition Troubles; 21. Dipsomania; 22. Moral Case; 
23. Tobacco Habit; 24. Neurasthenia; 25. Alcoholism; 
26. Nervous Exhaustion ; 27. Extreme Anaemia ; 28. Klepto- 
mania ; 29. Mischievous Morbid Impulse; 30. Agoraphobia ; 
31. Morbid Self-reproach. — Some Cases of Failure. — Some 
Cases from General Practice - 292 — 330 



Dr. Yung's Experiment with ' Magnetized Cards.' — James Braid 
of Manchester. — Duration of Hypnotic Sleep. — Dr. Luys' 
Rotating Mirror and Dr. Ochorowicz's Hypnoscope. — Theory 
of Professor Delbceuf. — Theory of Mr. F. W. H. Myers. — 
Some Phenomena of Hypnotic Somnambulism. — Dr. Lie'- 
beault's Classification of Hypnotic Sleep.— Method of Public 
Performers. — Resolutions adopted at the Paris Congress. — 
International Statistics of Hypnotism. — Experiments in Auto- 
suggestion. — Hypnotization of Animals. — Treatment by 
Transfer. — Christian Science Healing. — Hypnotism and 
Crime. — The Hypnotic Will Case. — Belgian Legislation 
regarding Hypnotism. — Report of the British Medical 
Association Committee ----- 331 — 372 




It is desirable to set forth clearly the genesis of the 
present revival of psychotherapeutics, lest, as sometimes 
happens, unassuming merit be deprived of the honour 
due to it, and other claims arise to obscure those of the 
real founders of the system. 

Perhaps the most unfounded claim is that of the magne- 
tizers, who assert that they have kept the subject before 
the public by their experiments and entertainments. This 
contention is easily answered, for, in the first place, the 
method practised by Dr. Liebeault, and described in these 
pages, differs in nearly every respect from that employed 
by such persons ; and secondly, their performances have 
never done anything else but degrade this branch of 
medical science, and turn the medical profession against 
it. Their method is unchanged since the beginning of 
the century, and they have hardly even added a new trick 
to their stock-in-trade. 

So low had the estimate of the scientific value of 
induced sleep fallen, that in 1874 the French medical 
dictionaries threw doubts on its existence, except as a 
pathological curiosity, and the English encyclopaedists 
followed much the same course. 

Since the year 1875 — when Dr. Charles Richet began 
to write on the subject of hypnotism — there has been 



no lack of scientific investigators on the Continent. 
Among the most distinguished of these are Charcot in 
Paris, and Heidenhain* at Breslau, and they have demon- 
strated beyond the possibility of doubt the genuineness 
of the phenomena of induced somnambulism. But long 
ere this — in i860 — Dr. Liebeault had opened his public 
dispensary at Nancy, and had elaborated his system, 
which he caused to be known as Treatment by Suggestion. 

In 1866 he published a book on the subject, in which 
he gave to the world a full description of the means used 
by him, and an account of cases successfully treated.f 
But little notice was taken of it at the time, and even in 
Nancy, where Dr. Liebeault lived a retired life, devoted 
to the poor among whom he practised, he was regarded 
as, at the best, an amiable but mistaken enthusiast. In 
1882, Professor Bernheim, of the Faculty of Medicine at 
Nancy, began to investigate the system, quite as a sceptic, 
so he tells us, and, being soon convinced of its value, 
introduced it into his hospital clinique. In 1884 he 
brought out his classical work on suggestion. £ 

Dr. Bernheim was well known in the medical world, 
and his book attracted general attention on the Continent. 
Physicians began to practise hypnotism in many of the 
larger cities, and flourishing cliniqucs sprang up in all 
directions. Among the first and most notable of these 
are those of Drs. Van Renterghem, of Amsterdam ; 
Wetterstrand, of Stockholm; Von Schrenk-Notzing, of 
Munich ; Moll, of Berlin ; and Berillon, of Paris. 

This book does not profess to give a literary history of 
the movement, and a glance at the catalogue § given by 
Dr. Max Dessoir of recent publications on hypnotism is 

* ' Hypnotism ; or, Animal Magnetism,' second edition, London, 

t ' Du Sommeil et des Etats Analogues, considdrds surtout au point 
de vue de Taction du Morale sur le Physique,' Paris, 1866 ; second 
edition, 1889. 

% ' De la Suggestion, et de ses Applications a la The'rapeutique,' 
Paris (second edition), 1887. 

§ ' Erster Nachtrag zur Bibliographie des Modernen Hypnotismus,' 
Berlin, 1890. 


enough to deter any but the most determined student 
from approaching the subject. During the two years 
[888, 18S9, there appeared nearly 400 books, pamphlets, 
and articles on hypnotism. A large proportion of these 
are by medical men, and are written in the French 
language. But among the pioneer writers on hypnotism 
must be named Professors Beaunis* and Liegeois,t of 
Nancy, who have treated the matter from the stand- 
point of their special departments, physiology and juris- 
prudence. Professors Delbceuf, of Liege ; Fontan and 
Segard, of Toulon ; Preyer and Max Dessoir, of Berlin ; 
Krafft-Ebing, of Vienna; Forel, of Zurich ; Wetterstrand, 
of Stockholm ; Van Renterghem and Van Eeden, have 
given us thoroughly practical books describing their 
practice, and Dr. Albert Moll's book is as well known 
in England as in Germany. On the eve of his retirement 
from practice, Dr. Liebeault has issued a new volume 
containing the results of his thirty years' experience, and 
this book will be in the hands of every student of the 
Nancy treatment. 

In 1889, I wrote that, as far as I knew, there was no 
literature in English on the subject, and Dr. A. T. Myers, 
commenting in the Practitioner^ on the backwardness 
shown by the profession in this country in investigating 
hypnotism, cited the references to the treatment in the 
medical journals of the world during the year 1888. He 
found only seven notices in English journals, against 
sixty -one in those of France, thirty -five in Germany, 
twenty-two in Italy, and sixteen in those of the United 

But during the last few years a great change has 
come over the scene, and there are allusions to hypnotism 
in almost every issue of our medical journals. Drs. Kings- 
bury, Bramwell, Woods, and others, have published cases, 
and the question is now well before the profession. Dr. 

* 'Du Somnambulisme Provoque,' Paris, 1886. ■ 
t ' De la Suggestion et du Somnambulisme dans leur Rapports avec 
la Jurisprudence et la Mcdecine Legale,' Paris, 1888. 
% Vol. i., 1890, p. 201. 

I — 2 


Felkin, of Edinburgh, has written a masterly exposition of 
hypnotism in the Edinburgh Medical Journal (vol. xxxv.), 
which is republished in book form (' Hypnotism, or Psycho- 
Therapeutics,' Edinburgh, 1891) ; and Dr. Hamilton 
Osgood, of Boston, has contributed to the Boston Medical 
and Surgical Journal (1890) an extremely interesting article 
illustrated by cases. Dr. Kingsbury has published a 
valuable practical handbook, and the English translations 
of the works of Bernheim, Moll, and Wetterstrand have 
had a very large circulation. An excellent exposition of 
the subject is published by Dr. Ralph Vincent as a volume 
of the International Scientific Series. There is therefore 
no longer any need to lament the want of literature on 
hypnotism in the English tongue. 

The following list gives a few of the more important 
books and papers recently published on hypnotic sugges- 
tion : 

Liebeault : ' Therapeutique Suggestive, son Mdchanisme,' etc., Paris, 

Bernheim : 'Hypnotisme, Suggestion, Psycho-therapie,' Paris, 1891. 
Fontan et Segard : ' Elements de Mddecine Suggestive,' Paris, 

Delbceuf : 'De l'Origine des Effets Curatifs de l'Hypnotisme,' Paris, 

A. Pitres : 'Legons Cliniques sur l'Hyste'rie et l'Hypnotisme,' Paris, 

Bonjean : 'L'Hypnotisme, ses Rapports avec le Droit et la Thera- 

Van Renterghem et Van Eeden : ' Clinique de Psycho-the'rapie 

Suggestive,' Brussels, 1889. 
Von Krafft-Ebing : ' Eine experimented Studie auf dem Gebiet des 

Hypnotismus,' Stuttgart, 1889. 
Von Schrenk-Notzing : 'Ein Beitrag zur therapeutischen Verwertung 

des Hypnotismus,' Leipsic, 1888. 
Forel : 'Der Hypnotismus, seine Bedeutung und seine Handha- 

bung, ; Stuttgart, 1889. 
Forel : ' Der Hypnotismus, seine psychophysiologische medicinische,' 

etc., Stuttgart, 1891. 
Preyer : ' Der Hypnotismus,' Vienna and Leipsic, 1890. 
Moll : ' Der Hypnotismus,' Berlin, 1890 (second edition). 
Wetterstrand : ' Der Hypnotismus und Seine Anwendung in der 

Practischen Medicin,' Vienna and Leipsic, 1891 ; English transla- 
tion, 1897. 
Lehmann (of Copenhagen) : ' Die Hypnose,' Leipsic, 1891 (German 

edition), 'und die damit vorwandten normalen Zustandten.' 
Morselli : ' II Magnetismo Animale, La Fascinazione, e gli Stati 

Hypnotici,' Turin, 1886 (second edition). 


Tanzi : ' Sulla cura suggestiva del morfinismo,' Naples, 1889. 
Herrero : 'El Hypnotismo y la Sugestion. Estudios de Fisio- 

psicologia y de Psico-terapia,' Valladolid, 1889. 
Hamilton Osgood : ' Hypnotic Suggestion,' with notes of 34 cases, 

Boston, 1890. 
Kingsbury : ' The Practice of Hypnotic Suggestion,' Bristol (second 

edition), 1893. 
Vincent : ' The Elements of Hypnotism,' London, 1897. 
Voisin : ' Suggestion Hypnotique dans certaines formes d'Alienation 

Mentale,' Paris, 1897. 
Berillon : ' L'Hypnotisme et l'Orthope'die Mentale,' Paris, 1898. 
Felkin : ' Hypnotism or Psycho-therapeutics,' London, 1890. 
Hack-Tuke : ' Sleep-Walking and Hypnotism,' London, 1884. 
Hy. Barwise : ' Hypnotism : Its Possibilities, its Uses and Abuses,' 

Birmingham, 1SS8. 
Gerald Yeo : ' The Nervous Mechanism of Hypnotism,' London, 1884. 

Students of contemporary hypnotism will find the 
subject exhaustively dealt with in the Revue de VHypno- 
tismc, a medical journal devoted to this branch of thera- 
peutics, published monthly in Paris, under the able 
editorship of Dr. Edgar Berillon,* and in the Revue de 
Psychologie, also a Paris journal. 

In German)- there is the Zeitschrift filr Hypnotismus, 
published every month in Berlin. There is no journal 
devoted to the subject in England, but hypnotic treatment 
is frequently referred to in the ordinary medical periodicals. 
Luminous articles have appeared in the Journal of Mental 
Science by Dr. Woods, of Hoxton House Asylum, 1897, 
and in Brain by Dr. Milne Bramwell, 1897-99. I have 
written a fairly exhaustive article in the Medical Annual 
for 1898. 

In the British Medical Journal for August 20, 1898, there 
is a full report of an important discussion on hypnotism at 
the Edinburgh meeting of the association, and I think we 
may say that there is no longer any prejudice against 
hypnotism in the best medical circles. 

A recent paper read before the New South Wales branch 
of the British Medical Association by the Hon. J. M. Creed, 
M.R.C.S., Member of the Legislative Council, published 

* Dr. Bdrillon has a good clinique at 49, Rue Saint-Andre'-des- 
Arts, Paris, which is largely attended by French and foreign doctors. 
He extends a cordial welcome to English medical men who wish to 
learn something of the practical use of hypnotism. 


in the Australian Medical Gazette, January 20, 1899, entitled 
' My Experience of Hypnotic Suggestion as a Therapeutic 
Agent,' gives an interesting account of successful hypnotic 
practice in the Antipodes. 

The Society for Psychical Research has done, and is 
doing, much good work in the scientific investigation of 
hypnotism, and its members were among the first persons 
in this country to recognise its importance as an aid to 
experimental psychology. The clear and able papers 
contributed by Mr. F. W. H. Myers, the late Edmund 
Gurney, and other writers, in the Proceedings of the 
society, are among the best things which have been 
written on the subject. 

To James Braid, the Manchester surgeon, is due the 
credit of having seen the germs of truth which lay hidden 
and obscured in the writings of Mesmer and the animal 
magnetizers. He attempted to explain by physical laws 
the effects produced by mesmerizers,* and he ridiculed 
the notion of there being any such thing as a magnetic 
fluid or current. His disgust for the mysticism of mes- 
merism drove him, perhaps, too far towards the other 
extreme, and made him more rationalistic than the facts 
warranted him in being. Although he publicly demon- 
strated his system of healing — which he practised with 
much success — and wrote several works upon the subject, 
it appears to have died with him, and it remained for 
Dr. Liebeault to arrive at the truth of psycho-thera- 

The most important recent event connected with the 
progress of hypnotism in this country was the appointment 
of a commission by the British Medical Association as 
a result of the important discussion at the annual meeting 
held at Birmingham in 1890. The report of this com- 
mittee will be found in the appendix. It is hoped that 
the result will be increased interest in the subject by 
medical men and the prohibition of its use by showmen 

* ' Neurypnology,' London, 1843; 'The Power of the Mind over 
the Body,' London, 1846. 


and idlers. No one wishes to restrict the use of hypnotism 
in the researches of men of science, for this most interest- 
ing study affords a key, as Professor Preyer says, to many 
psychical and physical processes connected with the 
nervous system ; but we feel convinced that in the in- 
terest of the public, and for the dignity of the subject, it 
will be necessary to surround its employment with pre- 
cautions against abuse. 

One looks forward to a time, in a not very remote 
future, when Englishmen will take that leading position 
in the investigation and practice of hypnotism which 
one would expect from the compatriots of James Braid. 

The present movement is practically the third revival 
of psycho - therapeutics in modern times. That in- 
augurated by Mesmer in 1776 came to nothing on 
account of the fraud, ignorance, and exaggeration with 
which it was surrounded, and the second under Braid 
found even less acceptance from contemporary men of 
science ; but the revival we now see is probably destined 
to make a deep and permanent impression on the history 
of medicine. It is the outcome of evolution and scientific 
progress in all departments of medical knowledge, and the 
time is ripe for its recognition and reception. 

I believe that all great discoveries are led up to by 
previous half-discoveries ; and it does not detract from 
Dr. Liebeault's credit that he started with a large amount 
of evidence on the subject collected by earlier observers, 
any more than Darwin's claim to be the first evolutionist 
is weakened by his having drawn on the material supplied 
by Lyell, Hooker, and a multitude of others. Liebeault's 
genius taught him to arrange and systematize the facts 
collected by his predecessors, and to find the true explana- 
tion of phenomena which they had misunderstood. And 
his patience and steadfast courage led him to persevere in 
his work, undeterred by opposition or neglect, until now 
we find him the founder of a school which, as I have said, 
has its representatives all over the Continent — acute and 
clear-sighted men of science, of a class quite unlikely to 


entertain the fanciful theories of mesmerism, on the one 
hand, or those of ' faith-healing ' on the other.* 

I need hardly say that medical hypnotism has nothing 
in common with spiritualism, and it is a curious thing 
that in this country some persons seem to think them 

* The truth of this assertion has been agreeably verified by events. 
Dr. Liebeault has retired from practice, and visitors to Nancy will no 
longer have the pleasure of seeing him at his clinique and listening to 
his kindly talk. He has worked all these years from love of his pro- 
fession, and not from desire for gain, and he has retired on a modest 
competence not acquired from his practice, which was wholly un- 
remunerative. To celebrate the occasion, many of those who had 
enjoyed his friendship and derived profit from his instruction decided 
to present him with a testimonial. The movement was joined in by 
medical men from all parts of the world, and the presentation was 
made in May, 1891. There were over sixty subscribers to this 
testimonial, and among the contributors one finds many names of 
eminence in the profession, as Dumontpallier, of Paris ; Preyer, of 
Berlin ; Krafft-Ebing, of Vienna ; Morselli, of Genoa ; Cruise, of 
Dublin. — Vide Lancet June 27, 1891, and Revue de F Hypnotisme, 
June, 1891. 


Examples showing the Power of the Mind over the Body. — Anaesthesia 
produced by the Imagination without Chloroform. — Cures effected 
by the Imagination and by Mental Emotions. — Illness and Func- 
tional Disorders induced by Morbid Direction of Thought. — Or- 
ganic Changes possible from the same Cause. — Illness, and per- 
haps Death, caused by Suggestion of Symptoms. — Auto-Sugges- 
tion. — Simulated Death. — Cures at Shrines and Holy Places. — 
Touching for the King's Evil. — Modern Instances of Efficacy of 
Royal Touch. 

All who have given any attention to the subject acknow- 
ledge what immense power the mind — acting in conjunc- 
tion with or apart from the will — has over the body, 
forcing it at times to unusual or even extraordinary effort. 
This power is exercised both in health and disease, but is 
peculiarly evident — perhaps because it is more closely 
observed — in the latter condition. Everyone, the physician 
and psychologist especially, knows some curious instances 
illustrative of its effects ; such as the story of the hospital 
patient to whom the consulting physician gave a prescrip- 
tion, with the remark, ' Take this, it will do you good.' 
At the man's next visit, he, being asked for the prescrip- 
tion, replied that he had swallowed it as directed, and it 
had, according to promise, done him ' a power of good.' 
Dr. Hack Tuke* gives a number of cases in which drugs 
have acted not according to their proved properties, but 
according to the expectation of the patient. For instance, 
a student having asked for an aperient pill, the dispenser, 
by mistake, gave him one composed of opium and antimony, 
which, instead of producing the usual effect of inducing 

* ' The Influence of the Mind upon the Body,' London, 1884. 


perspiration and drowsiness, acted in the way the student 
expected. Every medical man can quote examples of this 
sort from his own practice, and if sometimes he is wrong- 
fully accused of having produced baneful effects, he is 
indemnified at others by having marvellously good results 
ascribed to very simple measures. 

There are few cases of this kind more remarkable than 
one related by Mr. Woodhouse Braine, the well-known 
chloroformist. Having to administer ether to an hysterical 
girl who was about to be operated on for the removal of 
two sebaceous tumours from the scalp, he found that the 
ether bottle was empty, and that the inhaling-bag was free 
from even the odour of any anaesthetic. While a fresh 
supply was being obtained, he thought to familiarize the 
patient with the process by putting the inhaling-bag over 
her mouth and nose, and telling her to breathe quietly 
and deeply. After a few inspirations she cried, ' Oh, I 
feel it ; I am going off!' and a moment after her eyes 
turned up, and she became unconscious. As she was 
found to be perfectly insensible, and the ether had not 
yet come, Mr. Braine proposed that the surgeon should 
proceed with the operation. One tumour was removed 
without in the least disturbing her, and then, in order to 
test her condition, a bystander said that she was coming 
to. Upon this she began to show signs of waking, so the 
bag was once more applied, with the remark, ' She'll soon 
be off again,' when she immediately lost sensation, and 
the operation was successfully and painlessly completed. 
This girl had taken ether three years before, so that ex- 
pectation and the use of the apparatus were sufficient to 
excite her recollection, and call back the effects of the 
drug as then experienced. 

But this recalling of a past impression does not explain 
the experience of Dr. A., who is anaesthetist to a large 
dental hospital. He tells me that he often pretends to 
give gas without doing so, and he finds many patients 
become anaesthetic when he simply places the apparatus 
over their face, tells them to breathe deeply and go to 


sleep. He finds anemic girls are the best subjects for 
this harmless deception. 

It is told that when Sir Humphry Davy was investi- 
gating the properties of laughing-gas — as nitrous oxide 
was then called — he proposed to administer it to a man 
who was suffering from tic-douloureux, but before doing so 
he tried his temperature by putting a thermometer into 
his mouth. The man took this instrument for some new 
and subtle remedy, and in a few minutes exclaimed that 
the pain was cured. The same belief in the efficacy of 
the thermometer remains to this day among the unedu- 
cated, as a friend of mine found to his cost when he was 
hospital-clerk to a well-known physician. It was his duty 
to take each morning the temperature of even- patient ; 
but on one occasion, being pressed for time, and knowing 
by experience that a certain patient's temperature was 
always normal, he saved a few minutes by leaving it un- 
tried. Later in the day, when the physician asked this 
man how he felt, he replied that he was much worse, as 
might be expected considering the way in which he was 
neglected. On inquiry it came out that the potent charm 
of having the glass tube in his mouth for three minutes 
had been omitted, and my friend got a reprimand. 

While in Jamaica, I knew a young lady who had for 
months been confined to her bed or couch, unable to 
walk a step, from apparent paralysis of the lower ex- 
tremities, which entirely defied the treatment used. One 
morning news was brought to her that her brother, to 
whom she was devotedly attached, had fallen from his 
horse, and was lying in a critical condition some ;miles 
away in the mountains. She immediately got up, herself 
helped to saddle a horse, rode to the scene of the accident, 
and nursed her brother night and day for a week. She 
was completely and permanently cured of the paralysis, 
which of course was merely functional and hysterical, 
by the nervous shock which had brought her will into 

A somewhat similar case came under my observation 


some years ago. A clergyman in whose house I was 
staying had long been a sufferer from chronic rheumatism, 
through which he was so disabled that he could only walk 
very slowly and with great inconvenience. On this occa- 
sion he was lying on a sofa, from which he could see 
through an open door and across a hall into another 
room, where his wife happened to be. By some care- 
less movement she upset a table there, and, as if by 
magic, he sprang to his feet and walked rapidly and with 
a perfectly even step into the opposite room, exclaiming, 
' There goes all the ink that was in the house, and I have 
to write my sermon !' In this instance, however, the cure 
was as ephemeral as the emotion which had caused it ; 
but it is not improbable that a continued excitement might 
have prolonged the power of easy motion, and so have 
broken down and caused absorption of the adhesions and 
exudations which produce the pain. 

I remember at a water -picnic a young lady com- 
plained of terrible neuralgia. From some cause the boat 
began to rock violently, and she became extremely 
nervous. Her fear of being upset completely drove away 
the neuralgia, which did not return, at least on that occa- 
sion. It is known that sufferers from sea-sickness almost 
invariably become quite well in moments of danger ; and 
we can often lose the sense of pain by occupying our mind 
with some affair of great interest. 

Dr. Laycock (' Nervous Diseases of Women,' p. 184) 
quotes the case of a gentleman suffering from quotidian 
ague who became so interested in conversation on one 
occasion, that the hour for his paroxysm passed without 
his perceiving it, and he escaped the attack. This story 
gives one ground for believing a statement frequently 
made — that the time of the recurrence of attacks of inter- 
mittent fever may be altered by moving the clock-hands 
unknown to the patient, and thus arousing expectant 

On the other hand, Dr. Goodhart mentions the case 
of a hysterical woman who consulted a doctor about her 


health. He examined her chest, and thought he detected 
signs of phthisis, and expressed great surprise that she 
had no cough. Though up to that time she was free 
from any symptom of the kind, the suggestion was suffi- 
cient to excite a most troublesome and obstinate cough 
which it was very difficult to cure. Dr. Goodhart cites 
this case as a warning to the practitioner against being 
too persistent in asking leading questions.* I have heard 
a nervous patient say that she now had the headache the 
doctor asked her about last week, but which was then absent. 

Dr. Arthur, of Sydney, New South Wales, has ingeni- 
ously taken advantage of the fact that the force of sug- 
gestion is very greatly increased by hypnotism. He has 
reported in the British Medical Journal a series of cases in 
which he had tried hypnotism with excellent palliative 
results. But the pains returned from time to time, and it 
was impossible for the patients always to go to him for 
relief. He therefore hypnotized them, and told them that 
whenever their symptoms recurred they had only to take 
a dose of the medicine he would give them and they would 
experience immediate relief. Among these cases were one 
of carcinoma uteri, one of scirrhus of the breast, one of 
locomotor ataxy, etc., incurable diseases, in which all we 
can do is to relieve symptoms. The medicine he gave, 
which hypnotic suggestion caused to act as a panacea, 
was a mixture of tincture of valerian. He terms this 
method ' treatment by indirect suggestion.' 

The power of religious ecstasy and absorbing religious 
contemplation, in all creeds and in all climes, to cause 
disregard of surroundings and contempt for physical 
suffering need not be insisted upon, for its reality is 
attested by all history. From the days when Queen 
Jezebel's priests mutilated themselves on Mount Carmel, 
to the present time, when we see the dervishes hurl them- 
selves on the bayonets of our soldiers in the Soudan, 
utterly unmindful of the pains of death, and seeing only 
the plains of paradise beyond, the story is the same. A 

* ' Common Neuroses,' Harveian Lectures, i8qi. 


condition similar to hypnosis undoubtedly prevails in such 
cases. It is asserted, and with some reason, that in many 
cases martyrs at the stake have been mercifully spared 
much of the suffering which seems inseparable from their 
cruel death, in consequence of a hypnotic state, with its 
attendant anaesthesia, being induced in them, partly the 
result of religious fervour and abstraction, and partly 
brought about by the glitter of the flames and the clamour 
of the crowd, overstimulating certain sensory centres to 
the consequent inhibition of others. The devotees of 
certain sects obviously undergo hypnotization before prac- 
tising their rites, e.g., the Aissouans who recently visited 
London. These Arabs are hypnotized by their priest or 
chief, and in the hypnotic state allow themselves to be 
stung by scorpions and devour venomous snakes. The 
Indian ghost-dance, of which we have recently heard so 
much, is also a species of hypnotism. The warriors, under 
pressure of intense excitement, rapidly gyrate round a 
central point until they fall to the ground, sometimes in 
a state of lethargy, and sometimes cataleptic. 

An eye-witness describes a Ceylon devil-dance in the 
Nineteenth Century for November, 1899. The priest- 
exorciser certainly hypnotized the patient, who was 
suffering from acute hysterical mania, and then used 
suggestion. The writer expresses the conviction that this 
treatment for the large class of cases supposed by the 
natives to be dependent on demoniac possession is of 
great antiquity in Ceylon. 

Dr. Brown-Sequard relates a remarkable case of ecstatic 
catalepsy in a girl whom he was called in to see. She 
lived in Paris, close to the Church of St. Sulpice, and 
every Sunday morning at eight o'clock, when the bell 
began to ring, she used at once to rise from her bed, 
mount the edge of the bedstead, and stand there on tip- 
toe until the bell sounded at eight in the evening, when 
she returned to her bed. The board on which she stood 
was curved and polished, and it would have been impos- 
sible for the most athletic man to have remained on it in 


such a position for more than a few minutes at a time. 
While standing there, she was utterly unconscious of her 
surroundings, and continued murmuring prayers to the 
Virgin all the time, her hands clasped, her eyes fixed, 
and head slightly bent. Some of the bystanders were 
sceptical, and Dr. Brown-Sequard, to put her to the test, 
applied a strong interrupted current to her face. She 
showed no sign of pain, but the muscles reacted energeti- 
cally, and her intonation was therefore slightly affected. 
The girl was weak and anaemic, and was so thoroughly 
exhausted by her Sunday exertions, that the remainder of 
the week she could only lie helpless in her bed. The 
enormous increase in muscular and nervous force in one 
direction (dynamogenesis) was accompanied, as is invari- 
ably the case, by inhibition of other functions — in this 
case, those of higher cerebration.* 

A rudimentary knowledge of electricity is sufficient to 
assure us that the vast majority of popular electrical 
appliances — such as belts and pads — are absolutely inert, 
and that the good they undoubtedly achieve in some cases 
is due to their stimulating effect on the imagination. t If 
the public confidence is shaken, cures no longer take 
place, as was clearly demonstrated in the recent notorious 
electropathic belt trial. I am acquainted with a civil 
engineer of good standing in his profession, who assured 
me he had been cured of lumbago of very long standing 
by one of these belts, and he actually gave the proprietors 
a testimonial to that effect, which was widely published. 
The exposure in court of the inertness of the appliance 
opened this patient's eyes, and he acknowledged that the 
cure was largely due to imagination and suggestion. Next 
time he gets lumbago he will seek a new specific which 
will appeal to his imagination in a different way, for he 
thinks himself much too clever for orthodox medical treat- 
ment. Cholera-belts, camphor-bags, and such-like * pre- 

* Revue Hebdominaire, 1882, p. 36. 

t Vide letter by Dr. Steavenson in Lancet and British Medical 
Journal, October 16, 1889. 


ventives,' probably act in a similar way. Therefore, though 
these and kindred contrivances do not operate in the ex- 
pected manner, I should be sorry to say that they do not 
serve a useful purpose ; by inspiring confidence and keep- 
ing alive hope, they often enable their possessor to go un- 
harmed in the midst of contagion, or help him to overcome 
disease ; for there is no more effectual depressant, no surer 
harbinger of disease, than fear. Much of the immunity 
from infection enjoyed by physicians and nurses is due 
partly to the preoccupation of their minds, which leaves 
no room for selfish terror, and partly to the confidence 
begotten by long familiarity with danger. 

The plan of substituting a harmless draught for the 
narcotic mixture, without which a nervous patient thinks 
himself unable to sleep, is, as we all know, continually 
resorted to, and is an instance of the beneficial employ- 
ment of the imagination. 

Drs. Beard and Rockwell relate how they experimented 
on rather a large scale with patients in a New York 
hospital with inert drugs. On one occasion, to see what 
imagination would do, they suddenly had the patients in 
one ward informed that a mistake had been made by the 
dispenser, and that an emetic had been administered to 
some of the patients instead of the usual mixture. A large 
proportion of the patients were thereupon seized with 
vomiting, and brought up the harmless dose which had 
been given to them.* This effect of the imagination it is 
not difficult to understand, but Dr. J. W. White, Pro- 
fessor of Clinical Surgery in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, has collected a large number of instances showing 
the beneficial effects of surgical operations per se. Hospital 
surgeons are not supposed to be particularly imaginative, 
and yet Dr. White tabulates hundreds of cases which he 
has brought together from recently published medical 
journals, English, American, and foreign. 

For instance, he records fifty-six cases of trephining for 
epilepsy in which nothing abnormal was found to account 

* 'Sexual Neurasthenia,' New York, 1890. 


for the symptoms, and yet twenty-five of these cases were 
cured, and eighteen improved.* 

In thirty epileptic cases a bloodvessel was ligatured, 
generally one of the vertebral arteries, and cure had 
resulted in fourteen cases, whilst fifteen were improved. 
In nine cases the operation was tracheotomy, and two of 
these were cured, and six greatly improved. Dr. White 
instances several cases in which exploratory incisions 
under chloroform have revealed no disease, but have been 
followed by the cure of symptoms simulating disease, and 
from his experience he feels justified in considering that 
1 there are large numbers of cases of different grades of 
severity and varying character which seem to be benefited 
by operation alone, some of them by almost any opera- 
tion, 't 

We know that appendicitis is a much more common 
disease now than was formerly supposed, and that many 
lives are saved by its early diagnosis and operative treat- 
ment, but many people think that the prevalence of the 
disease is rather overdone in America. A large propor- 
tion of my American friends have had the appendix 
removed. Dr. Hodgson tells me that a prominent New 
York surgeon, himself a pioneer in the operation for 
appendicitis, was recently taken ill with the symptoms of 
that disease. It was diagnosed as such by himself and 
the surgeons he called in, and he was operated on ; but 
no lesion was found when the abdomen was opened, and 
the wound was stitched up, and the patient told of the 
result. He benefited, however, by the operation, and was 
soon well again and at his work. 

The cure of warts by charms and spells is, I believe, a 
matter of common belief in every village in England. A 

* The extraordinary number of perforated skulls found in neolithic 
monuments was puzzling to antiquarians until the theory was adopted 
that they were the results of trephining for epilepsy. The success of 
the operation must have encouraged the men of science of those days 
to hold to their belief that the demon of epilepsy was expelled through 
the hole thus made. 

t Annals of Surgery, St. Louis, 1891. 



medical friend practising in the country told me not long 
ago that he had twice excised a number of warts from a 
boy of thirteen, and each time a new crop had soon 
grown. An old village woman recited some apparently 
childish formula over them, and behold the warts withered 
away, and in a few days had fallen off and disappeared. 
My friend is extremely orthodox, and did not at all 
understand nor approve of such interference with his 

On the other hand, it is possible for an apparently 
quite healthy person to develop, by pure imagination, 
the symptoms of serious illness. Laymen who dabble in 
medical science, and medical students at the beginning 
of their course, are apt to imagine that they have one or 
other of the diseases they have been studying, heart- 
complaint being perhaps the most usual ; and of this they 
do frequently develop some of the subjective symptoms. 

A friend of mine tells me that once only in his life has 
he suffered from laryngitis and loss of voice. This was 
while attending Sir Felix Semon's lectures on diseases of 
the throat. It may have been a mere coincidence, but 
that hardly explains the frequent instances of medical 
men who have succumbed to the disease which the}- have 
made their special study, e.g., Professor Trousseau from 
cancer of the stomach. It is possible that the mind, 
being continuously fixed on one special organ, predisposes 
to disease of that organ. 

Hypochondriasis is, as we know, a condition in which 
the patient feels the working of his internal organs, and 
is morbidly conscious of them. It tends to grow worse, 
because his attention becomes more and more fixed upon 
functions which ought to be performed automatically, and 
unless some powerful mental stimulant is applied, organic 
disease is sometimes actually set up. The late Sir J. 
Russell Reynolds* has collected and classified several 
cases of paralysis dependent on functional causes, which 
were cured by careful treatment directed chiefly to the 

* British Medical Journal, vol. ii., 483, 1869. 


morale of the patients. He points out the difficulties 
attending the ordinary treatment, and shows how neces- 
sary it is to counteract the morbid ideas which are often 
at the root of the mischief. Most of the cases to which 
he refers were cured, but some resisted all forms of treat- 
ment. Dr. James Reynolds* relates a case of a woman 
who died in the Birmingham General Hospital from the 
effects of hysterical paraplegia ; the necropsy showed that 
there was no organic disease. He thus summarizes the 
dangers of this condition : ' If the nature of the malady be 
mistaken, and the stimulus of the will be habitually with- 
held from the inactive muscles, the nutrition of that part 
of the nerve centre which presides over those muscles 
becomes impaired, and what was at the beginning a mere 
perversion of function is finally converted into real organic 
disease.' Russell Reynolds thus concludes his paper : ' I 
believe and know that many cases of apparently grave dis- 
orders of the nervous centres may be removed entirely ; 
and that in other instances, when the ideal affection is 
grafted upon organic lesion, much may be done to remove 
the former, and afford so much of the stimulus of hope, 
that the cure of yet graver symptoms is brought within 
the range, not only of possibility, but of probability and of 
actual fact.' There are many people of both sexes who 
never hear of a disease without fancying they have it. 
The illness of a royal or distinguished sufferer, the pro- 
gress of which is daily recorded in the newspapers, will 
sometimes become almost epidemic ; thus, throat specialists 
can tell some curious stories of the increase of imaginary 
and real throat affections during the illness of the late 
Emperor Frederick. That fear will promote disease has 
been abundantly proved during outbreaks of cholera, 
small-pox, the plague, and other epidemics. Pseudo- 
hydrophobia is a recognised malady, and no doubt many 
supposed cures of hydrophobia have in fact been cures of 
this fear-induced imitation. 

* ' Paralysis and other Diseases of Motion dependent on Idea,' ibid., 
p. 632. 

2 — 2 


Dr. Laycock tells the story of a woman, aged forty-eight, 
who was in constant attendance on her daughter during 
her tedious labour. Though she had not menstruated — 
she had passed the menopause — for eight years, she experi- 
enced uterine pains, and had a sanguineous discharge 
from the parts, and the next day her breasts were swollen, 
painful, and discharging a serous fluid.* Quoting Sir 
Benjamin Brodie, he adds that patients have been so 
acted upon by their fears, and by seeing their friends 
affected, that they have imagined they have had tumours 
of the breast, and that it is not improbable that the 
disease has been so produced. 

Nothing can illustrate this truth better than Kinglake's description 
of the behaviour of the Levantines during an outbreak of the plague at 
Cairo, showing how these terror-stricken people invited the very danger 
they feared : ' For awhile it may be that the caution of the poor 
Levantine may enable him to avoid contact (with the garments of 
passers-by), but sooner or later, perhaps, the dreaded chance arrives. 
. . . From that dread moment his peace is gone ; his mind, forever 
hanging upon the fatal touch, invites the blow which he fears; he 
watches for the symptoms of plague so carefully that, sooner or later, 
they come in truth. The parched mouth is a sign — his mouth zs 
parched ; the throbbing brain — his brain does throb ; the rapid pulse 
— he touches his own wrist (for he dares not ask counsel of any man 
lest he be deserted), he touches his wrist, and feels how his frighted 
blood goes galloping out of his heart. There is nothing but the fatal 
swelling to make his sad conviction complete ; immediately he has an 
odd feel under the arm — no pain, but a little straining of the skin — he 
would to God that his fancy were strong enough to give him that 
sensation. This is worst of all. It now seems to him that he could be 
happy and contented with his parched mouth and his throbbing brain 
and his rapid pulse, if he only knew that there were no swelling under 
the left arm ; but dares he try ? In a moment of calmness and 
deliberation he dares not ; but when for awhile he has writhed under 
the torture of suspense, a sudden strength of will drives him to seek 
and know his fate ; he touches the gland, and finds the skin sane and 
sound, but under the cuticle there lies a small lump like a pistol- 
bullet, that moves as he pushes it. Oh ! but is this for all certainty — 
is this the sentence of death ? Feel the gland on the other arm. 
There is not the same lump exactly, yet something a little like it. 
Have not some people glands naturally enlarged ? Would to heaven 
he were one ! So he does for himself the work of the plague, and 
when the Angel of Death, thus courted, does in truth and indeed 
come, he has only to finish that which has been so well begun. 't 

Lie"beault quotes several authors to prove that many persons seem 
to have had the power of so dominating their bodies by the force of 
will that they succeeded in keeping off illness which threatened them, 

* Op. a't., p. 112. t ' Eothen,' p. 257. 


and in some instances in averting or curing it when it actually had 
assailed them. Thus, he says, Pascal cured himself of neuralgia by 
steadfastly fixing his attention on other things, and Goethe relates how 
he got rid of a troublesome cough in the same way. They induced a 
condition which was practically identical with slight hypnosis, and 
suggested to themselves functional changes in the direction of health. 
Liebeault tells me he is able to cure himself of slight maladies — 
such as facial neuralgia — by auto-hypnotism and auto-suggestion. He 
sends himself to sleep by fixing his gaze on some prominent object, 
such as a door-handle, and his mind on the disappearance of the 
malady, and he drops off into a doze, out of which he awakes cured ! 
But I apprehend that such a result can only be achieved by a few, and 
that, as a rule, both the induction of hypnosis and the suggestions for 
cure must come from without. In most persons the disease dominates 
the system, and entirely prevents the presence of that state of mental 
receptivity and confidence which is an essential preliminary to curative 
auto-suggestion. Vide note, p. 348. 

Professor Dubois (quoted by Laycock) divided hypo- 
chondriasis into three stages : in the first the mind only 
is affected ; the patient is harassed by imaginary diseases, 
and concentrates his attention on one or other of the 
viscera, thereby changing their innervation and bringing 
about the second stage. In the third stage these nervous 
changes terminate in organic disease of the affected organ, 
and the evil ceases to be one of imagination alone. 

We sometimes come across people who tell us they 
1 have no time to be ill '; and certainly reports of longevity 
show that rust destroys more than use, and that hale old 
age is more frequently attained by those who have led 
busy lives than by idlers. Idleness is a well-known factor 
in producing all kinds of ailments, real and imaginary, of 
mind and body, perhaps because the idle man, from sheer 
lack of interest in life, devotes too much attention to his 
own organism. 

Imagination, combined with ' direction of conscious- 
ness ' (Sir H. Holland) to a part, will produce results 
which have been noticed by many pathologists. John 
Hunter said he was confident of producing a sensation in 
any part of his body simply by concentrating his attention 
on it. Sir H. Holland observes* : ' In hypochondriasis, 
the patient, by fixing his attention on internal organs, 

:;: ' Medical Notes and Reflections,' London, 1839. 


creates not merely disordered sensations, but disordered 
action in them.' And again : ' When there is liability to 
irregular pulsation (of the heart), this is brought on and 
increased by a simple effort of attention.' 

A medical friend of mine, who is affected with insuffi- 
ciency of the mitral valves, tells me that he is hardly ever 
inconvenienced by it, except when he has to examine a 
patient with heart-disease. His attention is then drawn 
to his own weakened organ, and he suffers from palpita- 

The late Dr. Forbes Winslow, writing on this subject, 
says : ' It is a well-established fact that alterations of 
tissue have been the result of a morbid concentration of 
the attention to particular organic structures. Certain 
feelings of uneasiness, or even pain, originate in the mind 
a suspicion of disease existing in particular parts of the 
body, it may be in the lungs, stomach, heart, brain, liver, 
or kidneys. Some slight irregularities and functional 
disturbances in the action of these organs being noticed, 
are at once suggestive (to the hypochondriac) of serious 
and fatal disease being established in the part to which 
the attention is directed. This deviation from a normal 
state of certain functions frequently lapses into actual 
structural disease, as the effect of the faculty of attention 
being for a lengthened period concentrated on this action. 
The continuous direction of the mind to vital tissues 
imagined to be in an unhealthy state undoubtedly causes 
an exaltation of their special functions, and an increase 
of susceptibility, by (it may be presumed) concentrat- 
ing to them an abnormal quantity of blood, this being 
followed successively by (i) undue vascular action, 
(2) capillary congestion, (3) an excess in the evolution 
of nerve force, and (4) appreciable structural alterations.'* 
Hysterical contraction of the lower limbs frequently 
leads to structural changes and disease of the spinal 
cord (Charcot, Gowers), from impairment of nutri- 
tion and trophic changes leading to softening. Dr. 

* ' Obscure Diseases of the Brain and Mind,' London, i860. 


Hack Tuke says : * If twenty persons fix their attention 
on their little finger for ten minutes, the result will be 
that most of them will feel decided sensations there, 
amounting in some to a mere sense of weight or 
throbbing, and in others to actual pain.' He endeavours 
to explain this by supposing that the act of attention 
excites an increased flow of blood to the part, and conse- 
quent increased vascularity of the sensory nerve-ganglia, 
so leading to subjective sensation ; or that the sympathetic 
nerve-centres become excited, and the vasomotor nerves 
influenced thereby so as to cause in the finger temporary 
vascular changes which invoke sensation. He puts for- 
ward also a third hypothesis, which is interesting from 
the relation it bears to that given by Professor Delbceuf, 
of Liege (see p. 336) — that fixing the attention on a part 
of the body for some time renders us conscious of the 
working of functions which are usually performed auto- 
matically and unconsciously. Sir James Paget thinks 
that by nervous excitement the temperature may be raised 
to at least 101 (from the normal 98"5°) ; and Professor 
Wunderlich says on the same subject* : ' In hysterical 
neurosis elevations of the temperature even to excessive 
heights may occur without any motive at all.'t Sir S. 
Wilkes relates cases of extreme anaemia caused by de- 
pressing emotions ; and this agrees with the experience 
of all medical men, as does also the opposite observation, 

* ' Medical Thermometry,' New Sydenham Society, 187 1. 

+ I was once called to attend a medical man, whom I found in a 
state of great alarm on account of the way his temperature was rising. 
He was an extremely nervous man, suffering from overwork and 
anxiety, brought to a crisis by a severe attack of bronchial catarrh. 
He took his own temperature every few minutes, and in less than four 
hours it mounted from 101 — which represented the amount of fever 
which one expected to be present — to 104 . He became almost 
delirious, and it took some time to soothe him ; but in less than an 
hour the thermometer only registered 102°, and without any special 
treatment soon dropped to iooi . In this case nervous excitement 
may be credited with having forced a rise of at least 2° F. Krafft- 
Ebing, in the celebrated case of lima S., was able by suggestion in 
the hypnotic state to bring about almost immediate depression of 
temperature to the extent of two or three degrees {vide p. 69), show- 
ing the relationship between psychical and somatic processes under 
certain conditions. 


that pleasant emotions bring about a good state of the 
blood and secretions, and improve the health. Instances 
in which the hair has rapidly, even in a few days, suffered 
atrophic changes, leading to its becoming white and falling 
out from excessive depressing emotions, are common — 
and under similar circumstances the teeth will sometimes 
rapidly decay. 

Dr. de Watteville says* : ' One of the most striking 
properties of the nervous system is that by which the 
activity of one portion may be arrested or prevented — 
" inhibited " — by the activity of another . . . when we 
attend closely to a sensory impression or to a train of 
thought, the excitability of every part of the brain, except 
that actually engaged in the act, is diminished by an 
inhibitory action of the working portion. Thus, when we 
say that anger or fear paralyzes, we allude in very accu- 
rate language to the inhibitory influence which powerful 
emotion exercises on the cerebral functions.' Sir T. Lauder 
Brunton, speaking of the effect of emotion on the organs, 
says : ' Whenever emotional excitement is prevented from 
discharging itself externally by motor channels it is very 
apt to vent itself upon the internal viscera, and the 
principal channel through which it does this seems to be 
the vagus.' He instances the description of emotion 
without outlet given by Tennyson, in his poem ' Home 
they brought her Warrior Dead,' and points out how the 
poet recognised the reciprocity between emotion and 
motor impulses when he described the relief which fol- 
lowed on the sufferer bursting into tears and embracing 
her child. t 

Dr. Laycock and other writers of forty years ago seem 
to have been well acquainted with the theory of inhibi- 
tion, though the word is of more modern coinage, for he 
notices how the overactivity of one sense leads to a cor- 
responding suppression of another, and he says : ' When 
the attention is directed to the perception of changes 

* 'Sleep and its Counterfeits,' Fortnightly Review, May, 1887. 
t 'On Inhibition,' West Riding Reports, 1874. 


from without, there is such a change excited in the 
central terminations of the sensitive nerves, that more 
vivid perceptions result ; and if the attention be con- 
centrated on one set of nerves the others are in a state 
analogous to paralysis.' He instances the case of Marini, 
the Italian poet, who allowed his leg to be badly burnt 
before he was aware of it, so engrossed was he in poetical 
reverie (op. cit., p. no). He goes on to say that an act 
of the will will sometimes excite such changes in the brain 
as to arrest an incipient paroxysm of angina pectoris or 

Dr. Charles Mercier, in his recent work, ' Sanity and 
Insanity,' refers to the rapid pigmentary change both as 
regards the hair and the skin produced by excitement 
and emotion, and gives as an instance the case of a young 
Bengalee with perfectly black hair, who was arrested on 
a grave charge and publicly examined. The danger and 
horror of the situation so affected him that his hair 
actually changed colour before the eyes of the spectators, 
and in the space of half an hour was of a uniform gray 
tint. That emotion and fancy have power to modify the 
secretions is shown by the well-known fact that the mouth 
becomes dry and parched through fear or anger, while on 
the other hand it ' waters ' at the idea of savoury food, 
the mental impression paralyzing or stimulating the 
secretory apparatus of the salivary glands. Violent 
emotion, again, will so modify the secretion of gastric 
juice as to cause indigestion in subjects at all predisposed 
to it. An attack of jaundice may be induced by anger — 
as the popular saying, ' Green with rage,' implies — from 
an accumulation of bile in the blood through nervous 
excitement causing ' inhibition ' of the healthy function of 
the liver. 

Disease, then, as we have seen, may, in hypochondriasis 
and kindred states, be induced by auto-suggestion, and 
there is no doubt that it may likewise be induced by sug- 
gestion from without. Let a man be told repeatedly by 
his friends that he is looking ill, that he does not seem 


fit to go about, that he must take care of himself, or he 
will have this or that complaint — and unless he has a very 
cheerful and well-balanced mind, he is pretty sure, for a 
time at least, to deteriorate in health. There is a story 
of such suggestions being made, for a practical joke, at 
the expense of a stalwart farmer, who, having been assured 
by several persons that he seemed in a bad way, did really 
take to his bed and go through an unmistakable attack of 
illness. This, of course, was a cruel and unwarrantable 
jest ; yet a somewhat similar effect is occasionally pro- 
duced by well-meaning persons, who are in the habit of 
commiserating their acquaintance for not looking well. 
Dr. Laycock (op. cit., p. 112) says that the effect of 
' fearful attention ' has sometimes proved fatal, and 
instances the case of a man whose death that night 
was foretold by a ventriloquist at a dinner-party. So 
great was the effect of the prophecy that it fulfilled itself, 
and the unfortunate man actually died at about the time 
indicated. Sir William Gowers, referring to the influ- 
ence the imagination may have on functions which are 
ordinarily beyond the control of the will, says that 
vomiting may be produced by an emotion of disgust, 
and the needed emotion may be called up without 
sensorial agency, as is shown by the strange cases in 
which the husband has retched in sympathy with the 
vomiting of his wife in pregnancy, and has at last become 
so sensitive that sickness occurs as soon as he knows his 
wife is pregnant (' Diseases of the Nervous System,' 
vol. ii., p. 928). 

In subsequent pages I shall detail some experiments to 
show how greatly the will acting through suggestion is 
able to modify the action of the heart in hypnosis, but 
such modifying influence is not necessarily confined to 
the hypnotic state. As a rule we are unable to exert any 
decided influence over the vegetative organs by simple 
ideation, but Professor Tarchanoff has recorded the case 
of a student who had the power of accelerating his heart's 
action by no less than 35 beats in a minute. Tarchanoff 


has very fully investigated and described the case, and 
he supposes that the acceleration does not depend upon 
deficiency in the controlling power of the vagus, but 
rather on increased control over the accelerators, which 
the student was able to exercise through the accelerator 
centres in the cord being connected with a will centre 
higher up.* 

Dr. Hack Tuke gives an instance of death itself being 
produced by suggestion. A Frenchman of rank was con- 
demned to death for some crime, and his friends, willing 
to avoid the scandal of a public execution, allowed him 
to be made the subject of an experiment. He was told 
that he must be bled to death. His eyes were bandaged, 
and his arm having been lightly pricked, a stream of 
warm water was made to trickle down it and fall into a 
basin, while the assistants kept up a running commentary 
on his supposed condition. ' He is getting faint ; the 
heart's action is becoming feebler ; his pulse is almost 
gone,' and other remarks of the sort. In a short time 
the miserable man died with the actual symptoms of 
cardiac syncope from haemorrhage, without having lost a 
drop of blood. (Vide note in Appendix, p. 331.) 

There are some authenticated cases of apparent death 
being produced by auto-suggestion. We hear of this 
being accomplished by Indian fakirs and other religious 
enthusiasts in Eastern countries. Braid cites a remark- 
able and, he believes, thoroughly well-authenticated in- 
stance of a distinguished holy man, who, to convince the 
Maharajah Runjeet Singht that he possessed this power 
over himself, apparently died, and was laid in a sealed 
coffin within a vault, the entrance to which was also 

* Quoted by Professor Hamilton, 'Text-Book of Physiology,' p. 569 
(London, s. 1). On the other hand, Ur. Brown-Sequard relates how 
a student in his class was able at will to bring about an arrest of the 
heart's action (Rev. Hebdominaire, i83?., p. 36). 

t This case is related in medical detail by Dr. McGregor in his 
' History of the Sikhs,' p. 227. He was an eye-witness of the disinter- 
ment. There are other cases of a similar character, apparently well 
authenticated. The late Sir Richard Burton wrote to me on the 
subject, stating that he had investigated cases of vivi-sepulture, and 
was convinced of their genuineness. 


pealed and guarded by soldiers. After six weeks, the 
jj/iime appointed by himself, he was taken out of the 
tomb in the presence of the Rajah and of several credible 
witnesses, English as well as native, and found to display 
every appearance of death. Having been gradually re- 
vived by his own servant, the still ghastly-looking, corpse- 
like creature sat up and spoke, his first words being 
addressed to the doubting Rajah : ' Do you believe me now ?' 
The best warranted European case of the sort is that of 
Colonel Townshend, related as follows by Dr. Cheyne : 
' He could die or expire when he pleased, and yet, by an 
effort or somehow, he could come to life again. . . . We 
all three felt his pulse first ; it was distinct, though small 
and thready, and his heart had its usual beating. He 
composed himself upon his back, and lay in a still posture 
for some time. While I held his right hand, Dr. Baynard 
laid his hand upon his heart, and Mr. Skrine held a 
clean looking-glass to his mouth. I found his pulse sink 
gradually till at last I could not feel any, by the most 
exact and nice touch ; Dr. Baynard could not feel the 
least motion in the heart, nor Mr. S. discern the least soil 
of breath on the bright mirror. Then each of us by turns 
examined his arm, heart, and breath, but could not, by 
the nicest scrutiny, discover the least symptom of life in 
him. We reasoned a long time about this odd appear- 
ance, and, finding he still continued in that condition, we 
began to conclude that he had indeed carried the experi- 
ment too far ; and at last we were satisfied that he was 
already dead, and were just ready to leave him. This con- 
tinued about half an hour. ... As we were going away 
we perceived some motion about the body, and, upon 
examination, found his pulse and the motion of his heart 
gradually returning ; he began to breathe heavily and 
speak softly. We were all astonished to the last degree 
at this unexpected change.'* 

* The starting-poim of the movements of the heart is the excitation 
produced by the pressure of the blood on the sensory or centripetal 
nerve fibres of the endocardium. If the contact of the blood with the 
endocardium be prevented, the heart ceases its pulsation, the physio- 


As sickness, and perhaps even death, may be produced 
by suggestion, so may be, and very often is, produced the 
cure of sickness. Towards this, however, auto-suggestion, 
though it might do much, does actually little or nothing, 
the natural reason being that the mind of a sick person, 
when left to itself, is prone rather to suggest morbid than 
health-inducing ideas, and so operates for mischief rather 
than in the direction of cure. Every physician knows 
how, by determined hopefulness and cheerfulness, a 
sufferer from functional, and even from curable organic 
disease, may facilitate the work of healing, and materially 
hasten his recovery. 

In all ages wonderful cures, real amid a multitude of 
shams, have been wrought at holy places dedicated to 
various saints of various cults. Among the throngs of 
pilgrims to Mecca, to the sacred rivers and temples of 
India, to the shrines of Buddhist hagiology, there are 
some who, having made the outward journey wearily and 
painfully, do indeed turn homeward with the gift of health. 
A proportion of those who have limped or been carried to 
Lourdes and to a hundred other holy places of the Catholic 
Church, do leave behind them crutches that they no longer 
require. Some of the sufferers who worshipped the Holy 
Coat at Treves did truly receive in restored health the 
reward of their faith. Some wearers of relics and amulets 
are really the better for possessing them. The cheered, 
uplifted, and convinced mind works, sometimes with 
startling rapidity, on the diseased body. 

For this same reason, touching for the king's evil did 
no doubt effect many cures. The royal progresses were 
announced some time beforehand, and the sufferers along 

logical cause of the reflex action having been removed. If the chest, 
and consequently the heart, be compressed by a series of forced ex- 
pirations and by holding the breath, so as completely to empty the 
lungs, and bring the muscular walls of the heart into close contact, 
we may succeed in stopping its beating. The performance of this 
experiment is not recommended, as it might have a fatal issue. Vide 
an article on ' La Mort simulee,' by Dr. G. Tourdes, ' Dictionnaire 
encyclopedique des Sciences medicales,' Paris, 1875. 


their route had often weeks in which to cherish the ex- 
pectation of healing, in itself so beneficial ; and in those 
days of faith, when a belief in the divine right of kings 
was universal and strong, the touch of the royal hand 
must, except in the most hopeless cases, have had a stimu- 
lating effect which may often have caused a healthful 
reaction. Even in our own times, a royal touch, accom- 
panied by kindly words, has good effect. We read in the 
' Life of Victor Emanuel,'* that in 1865, when the cholera 
was raging in Naples, and the panic-stricken inhabitants 
were migrating by thousands from the city, the king, 
wishing to give his people courage, went the round of the 
hospitals. ' He stood beside the sick-beds, and spoke 
encouragingly to the patients.' Before one of those 
already marked for death, the king stopped, and taking 
his damp, frozen hand, he pressed it, saying, ' Take 
courage, poor man, and try to recover soon.' The warm 
grasp of the hand, the strong cheerful words, the recog- 
nition of the king's face, had an agitating effect on the 
dying man. That evening the syndic visited the king, 
and said : ' Your majesty's coming is a joyful omen. I am 
happy to tell you that the doctors report a diminution of 
the disease in the course of the day, and your majesty has 
unawares worked a miracle. The man you saw this 
morning stretched for death is out of danger this evening. 
The doctors say the excitement of your presence caused the 
salutary crisis.' In Carpenter's ' Physiology 't numerous 

* ' Life of Victor Emanuel,' by G. S. Godkin, vol. ii., p. 213. 

t 'On the Influence of the Nervous System on the Organic Func- 
tions,' chap, v., ninth edition. Perhaps the most striking example 
of the power of the will and imagination to affect function, and even 
to initiate it, is afforded in a few rare but well-authenticated cases 
collected by Dr. Dunglison (' Human Physiology, 1 vol. ii., seventh 
edition), and quoted by Carpenter, in which strong desire to furnish 
milk, combined with continued irritation of the nipple by the infant's 
mouth, has brought about a secretion of milk in the mammary glands 
of childless and unmarried women, and even of men. The not un- 
common occurrence of pseudo-pregnancy, with production of all the 
subjective and many of the objective symptoms of real pregnancy, 
under the stimulus of a strong desire for children, affords evidence of 
the power of auto-suggestion. The historical case of Queen Mary is 
a familiar example. 


examples are given demonstrating the influence of the 
mind and imaginative faculties on the different bodily 
functions, and we have only to consider a moment to 
recall many personal experiences pointing in the same 

Sir T. Lauder Brunton gives several examples, showing 
how vigorous belief on the part of a friend may avert 
what appears like inevitable death. For instance, when 
Melancthon was lying very ill, and apparently dying, 
Luther was sent for to see his friend. On his arrival, 
he said : ' You must not die, Philip ; we cannot spare 
you.' ' Oh, let me die quietly,' said poor Melancthon. 
' No, Philip, you must not die,' was the reply, followed 
by an impassioned prayer that Melancthon should live. 
The effect was soon apparent ; the tide turned, and the 
sick man got well. 

We know how in impressionable persons the idea calls 
up the sensation. Thus, talking or thinking of ants or 
fleas may produce irritation of the skin and formication, 
recollection of a certain dish may re-awaken its savour, 
and expectation of hearing a bell ring may so act on the 
auditor}' centres as to produce a subjective tintinnabulation. 
The suggestion of a person's presence may call up his 
image, as in the well-known story told by Dr. Wigan. 
He was in Paris, and at a reception given shortly after 
the execution of Marshal Ney. All the world was talking 
about the deceased general and his tragic end, when the 
servant threw open the doors and ushered in a gentleman 
whom he announced as 'Marshal Key!' A dead silence 
came over the company, and a shiver ran through them 
as they glanced towards the door, and so strong was the 
mental picture conjured up by the servant's blunder that 
many of those present seemed to see the familiar figure 
stalking into the room. These examples serve to show 
how suggestion in the waking state many produce tactile, 
auditory and visual images by direct action on the highest 
centres, and they give us some clue to the phenomena 
observable in the states of hypnotism characterized by 


heightened suggestibility. In the motor sphere we find 
the same phenomenon. The thought or idea of dancing 
often causes the feet to move in rhythm, just as the idea 
of a combat may lead us to clench the fist.* The thought- 
readers' success depends on the fact that the idea upon 
which the subject's mind is intensely fixed is betrayed to 
the practised ' medium ' by unconscious and involuntary 
muscular movements. 

But it is unnecessary to multiply instances showing the 
influence of the mental states over bodily functions, as 
everyone must have numberless examples of it in his own 
person. Mental discouragement and depression have 
as their accompaniments disinclination for exertion and 
very frequently a sense of bodily fatigue. Who has not 
felt such a combination of symptoms after disappointment 
and worry, and does not know that the removal of the 
cause is followed by immediate removal of the effect ? A 
letter saying that the friend we mourned as about to die 
has recovered, or that the investment we thought hope- 
lessly bad has turned out a brilliant success, not only 
removes the mental symptoms, but also seems to put new 
energy into our actions. The sense of fatigue vanishes, 
the muscles become braced up, and there is an immediate 
demand for an outlet of energy which has been liberated 
by the removal of the inhibitory effects of despair. The 
counterpart is equally apparent, for we know and have 
experienced the effect on the depressed and wearied 
mind of a game of tennis or billiards, or any form of 

* Hypnotism greatly increases the ideo-motor association, as is 
shown by Professor Pitres, of Bordeaux. He hypnotized a young 
woman named Celestine, and she at once passed into a condition of 
profound trance, in which she lay motionless and expressionless. He 
asked what she was thinking of, and she replied, ' Nothing,' and her 
face showed no sign of intelligence. She was then placed in a kneel- 
ing position, with her hands clasped, and immediately her face, pre- 
viously so dull and apathetic, lighted up, and assumed an aspect of 
devotion resembling that seen in religious ecstasy, while her lips were 
seen to move. ' What are you doing ?' asked Dr. Pitres. ' Saying 
my prayers,' answered the girl. When asked what she saw, she 
replied, 'The Virgin,' and proceeded to describe her dress and appear- 
ance. The attitude suggested the idea, and the thought produced 
the hallucination. — Pitres, op. tit., p. 155. 


effort which acts as a derivative by calling off nervous 
energy from overworked and enfeebled centres into other 
channels and fresh combinations. The philosopher is 
indifferent to privation and suffering because he is able to 
direct his thoughts into channels which are not affected 
by the ups and downs of ordinary life, and his philosophy 
is practically the outcome of the development of his power 
of inhibition. 

Hypnotism in some cases enables us to do for our 
patients what the philosopher can do for himself. The 

case of Mrs. E , quoted on p. 314, is an example of 


I have recently seen a lady whose condition is in some ways a 
typical example of the connection between mental states and bodily 
functions She is a woman of thirty-five, and is married and has 
children. She has no organic disease as far as can be ascertained, 
and spends more than half her time happily and naturally. But she 
is subject to attacks of melancholia, and these generally come on 
every three or four weeks, and last about a week. She goes to bed 
feeling well, but awakes utterly dejected and miserable after a dis- 
turbed sleep of two or three hours. Her whole appearance undergoes 
a change ; she looks much older, her complexion becomes muddy 
and sallow, and her skin dry and harsh, her eyes dull and heavy, her 
attitude and gait stooping and slow. The timbre of her voice alters, 
and her speech becomes slow. At the same time the bowels become 
obstinately confined, and the water high-coloured, thick and scanty. 
She also suffers at these times from constant frontal headache and loss 
of memory. During the attacks she suffers from insomnia, and when 
she does sleep, she has disturbed dreams, and is restless and agitated. 
It is interesting to note that she is naturally of an unusually bright 
and energetic temperament, and systematically overworks and strains 
herself. She comes of a neurotic family, and was scrofulous as a 
child. The attacks are often preceded by a period of unusual excite- 
ment and mental activity. In this brief sketch of a not unusual con- 
dition one sees the close connection between mental states and bodily 
functions, and it is not easy to say whether mind or body is the 
primary seat of disturbance. 1 am disposed to think tha r . the symp- 
toms depend on exhaustion of nervous energy in the highest centres 
of the cortical area, and that this exhaustion affects not only memory 
and sleep, but also nutritive and secretory processes. 


Power of Mind and Body increased by Concentration of Attention 
and Energy. — Suppression of one Faculty tends to increase the 
Development of others. — Concentration of Mind on one Idea in 
Somnambulism, and Performance of Tasks impossible when 
Awake. — Some Tragical Results of Natural Somnambulism. — 
Artificial or Hypnotic Somnambulism may be turned to Thera- 
peutic Purposes. — Natural Sleep may pass into Hypnotic Sleep, 
and vice versa. — The Faculties may be aroused and intensified 
in Hypnotic Somnambulism. 

I have endeavoured to show how much the imagination 
(in its widest sense) may have to do with the health of 
mind and body ; and I shall now try to point out that 
the effects of ' directed consciousness ' are greatly in- 
creased under certain conditions, when the mind is so 
withdrawn from the consideration of all extraneous ideas 
as to be absolutely concentrated upon one object. 

We have seen how concentration of mind-faculty, 
whether self-induced or brought about by some shock 
to the system, or some powerful external influence, can 
modify functions, and both produce and cure disease 
— sometimes gradually, but often, in the case of shock or 
sudden and overpowering influence, with a rapidity which 
seems almost miraculous. 

We all know, and frequently by our own experience, 
that mind-concentration, brought about by some strong 
motive, will enable us to perform mental or bodily actions 
of which we would generally be incapable. Through it 
a man will achieve feats of strength far beyond his ap- 
parent muscular power, or will go boldly through dangers 
from which he would shrink if he paused to consider 


probable consequences. Or he will, in a limited time, 
execute a prodigious amount of intellectual work, possibly 
of such startling excellence that he himself, in after- 
moments of less intensity, will be amazed at his own 
performance. Of course, concentration, if sustained at 
such a pitch, would in time be the ruin of mind and 
body ; but we know that it is a necessary factor in the 
accomplishment of all great things, and that there can 
be no success in life for those who cannot command it to 
a moderate degree. Of this, we see a striking instance 
in Coleridge, who, with all his wonderful genius, brought 
a surprisingly small quantity of work to completion, for 
want of this mind-directing power. The less we have of 
it, the more our mental action tends to become automatic. 
The mind of a person unused to exercise it drifts un- 
directed and undisciplined from one idea to another ; he 
can hardly follow a line of thought to its conclusion, and 
his talk, and probably his actions, will be as inconsequent 
as his wandering fancies. 

As a rule, happily, the organic functions which carry 
on life are purely automatic ; but, as we have seen, it is 
possible to concentrate the attention upon them, and so 
affect their operation, sometimes beneficially, but far more 
commonly with detriment to the health of mind and 
body. Those bodily movements over which we have 
full control are also generally performed automatically. 
Under ordinary circumstances, we give no conscious 
thought to our steps in walking, to the motion of our 
hands while at work ; these are nearly as automatic as 
healthy breathing. So likewise, in a general way, is the 
operation of the senses. We see, hear, feel without any 
effort of our will, unless some special motive impels us to 
exercise it. We concentrate our minds upon sight when 
we strive to see a minute, or indistinct, or distant object ; 
and upon hearing when we listen for a faint or eagerly- 
expected sound. If such concentration is continuously 
brought to bear upon any sense, it will in time convey 
automatically the more intense impression which has 



been exceptional. Thus, in savages and in travellers and 
settlers in wild or dangerous regions, the senses of sight 
and hearing are far more keen than in those who live 
under civilization. The senses of touch and hearing 
become exquisitely fine in the blind. A blind man will 
sometimes hear sounds which are absolutely inaudible to 
ordinary ears, and recognise objects by touch as correctly 
as most people can by eyesight. Some blind persons 
seem, through concentration, to have developed a sense of 
space. On entering a room they can tell whether few or 
many persons are present ; they can guess with wonderful 
accuracy the size and shape of an enclosed place, and 
have a curious power of avoiding any obstruction, such 
as an article of furniture, which may be in their way.* 
Dr. Laycock relates how blind persons are able to recog- 
nise their friends by touch alone, and cites several 
instances in which, from a subtle comparison of form, 
smell, texture, etc., they have been able to form correct 
ideas about colour. In the well-known case of Caspar 
Hausen, who was brought up in solitude and darkness, all 
the senses were of extraordinary acuteness, so that he 
could distinguish colours in the dark and hear sounds in- 
audible to other people. The more recent example of 
Laura Bridgman must be familiar to most readers. 
Though blind, deaf, and dumb from infancy, she pos- 
sessed great intelligence, and kept up close relationship 
with the outside world through the development of the 
sense of touch. She was able to recognise her friends 
after months of absence by the touch of their hands. 
Professor Binet investigated the case of a hysterical girl 
who, when blindfolded, could discriminate and describe 
the relieved surface of an unknown coin when pressed 
against the skin. He reckoned that she possessed in this 
respect fifty times the normal amount of sensitiveness. 

* Most people have probably noticed that closing the eyes will, for 
the moment, render the hearing and touch unusually acute. Any 
sense may be intensified by mind-eoncentration, as in the case of tea 
and wine tasters, and of professional buyers of raw silk, who develop 
an unerring capacity of judging its quality by touch. 


Hyperesthesia of the special senses is not of uncommon 
occurrence in hysterical subjects ; and I have met a young 
lady whose nights were rendered miserable by the noise 
made by billiard-balls used on a table at least fifty yards 
away, and quite inaudible to ordinary persons. Smell is 
almost a lost sense with a large proportion of civilized 
mankind, but in many hysterical and neurotic subjects it 
is developed to an even painful extent, so that persons and 
things are readily distinguished by their odour. Such 
sensory hyperesthesia is readily produced in the hypnotic 
state by suggestion, and explains many supposed instances 
of clairvoyance. Deaf people often develop the sense of 
sight to an extraordinary extent. By concentration of 
this faculty the)' are able, as we know, to follow a speaker 
by watching his expression and the motion of his lips. 
Their sense of touch also becomes more delicate ; and 
occasionally they are able to enjoy music by feeling the 
vibration of air set in motion by its sound. 

Concentration of mind upon intellectual or physical 
action is usually possible only in our waking and wakeful 
moments. Fatigue of brain renders us incapable of it ; 
and in sleep, the natural consequence of such fatigue, we 
generally lose consciousness, and only exercise those func- 
tions which are performed automatically. In dreams 
consciousness is once more aroused, and we may even 
use some reasoning power, and be influenced from without 
through our senses. But in ordinary dreams there is no 
concentration of ideas upon an act to be performed or a 
goal to be reached. When a sleeper uses this effort of 
mind, he passes out of the region of dreams, and enters 
that of somnambulism. 

The somnambulist never has that semi-consciousness 
of his state, and of the unreality of his fancies, which 
sometimes exists through a dream — when the sleeper 
knows that he is dreaming, and will even try to prolong 
his vision if it be delightful, and dispel it if painful. Such 
an exertion of will is impossible in somnambulism. In 
this state all fancies must appear realities. The imagina- 


tion is, as I have said, concentrated upon one object, and 
so completely that actions are as effectually performed as 
if directed by strong will-power. But an onlooker can 
easily perceive, by the expression and posture of somnam- 
bulists, that the discerning and judging faculties are in 

In somnambulism actions of extraordinary difficulty, 
such as could not be performed by the sleeper during his 
waking hours — except, perhaps, through mind-concentra- 
tion caused by some overpowering impulse or motive — 
are accomplished with perfect ease. Persons in this con- 
dition will walk on the extreme edge of a precipice, climb 
dangerous heights, get out of a house through an upper- 
story window. There are numerous instances of this on 
record, of which I will quote two or three. Dr. Paul 
Gamier* gives one of a patient, a dentist's assistant, of 
feeble bodily and mental health, who frequently fell into a 
state of somnambulism. On one of these occasions he 
escaped by a window from the ward of the Hotel Dieu, 
in which he was undergoing treatment, and, though a 
peculiarly unathletic person, walked easily and fearlessly 
along the sloping parapet of the facade — a feat which a 
trained gymnast could hardly have accomplished. He 
awoke in the course of this dangerous performance, and 
had to be rescued by means of a ladder. With the return 
of consciousness reason awoke, and he understood the 
horror of his position. While blindly obeying his impulse 
he had acted automatically, and fear, which is a product 
of reflection and association of ideas, t had no existence 
for him. 

A patient of my own, a young man twenty years of age, 
not an habitual somnambulist, but a sufferer from night- 
mare produced by chronic dyspepsia, on one occasion, 
while spending the night in a hotel, dreamed that he was 

* ' Somnambulisme devant les Tribuneaux,' Paris, 1888. 

t Infants, in whom of course neither is possible, will, if allowed, 
grasp at the flame of a candle, or a sharp instrument ; and young 
children will fearlessly put themselves into positions of great danger. 


confined in a dungeon from which he must escape. The 
dream no doubt passed into somnambulism, for under its 
influence he broke his iron bedstead — a feat of strength 
which, waking, he assuredly could not have accomplished 
— and tore up his bed-clothes. His amazement was great 
when he awoke in the morning amid the ruins of his own 
creation. He remembered his dream, but had no recol- 
lection whatever of the acts into which he had been led 
by it. 

Dr. Bevan Lewis refers to a case of habitual somnam- 
bulism with which he is acquainted. The subject, a 
medical man, is frequently called up at night to visit 
patients. He gets up and dresses automatically, but is 
quite unconscious of his actions and of his destination 
until he is a considerable distance from his house (' Text- 
Book of Mental Diseases,' p. 150). 

The hypnotic state, which stops short of loss of con- 
sciousness, has been aptly compared to that condition 
between sleeping and waking which is characterized by 
inertia of mind and body, and by the greater or less abey- 
ance of spontaneity. There is another similarity between 
the dream state and hypnosis. There are many cases on 
record, and most medical men must have met with 
instances in practice, where the morbid condition either 
took its rise from, or was coincident with, a terrifying or 
painful dream. Hysterical paralysis not uncommonly 
commences in this way, and it is probable that certain 
neurotic troubles take their form from the influence of 
dream-suggestion. In incipient insanity the delusions 
which subsequently become permanent and rampant are 
often at first only experienced either in dreams or in the 
moments of incomplete wakefulness, and their occurrence 
is due either to morbid auto-suggestion or to the influence 
of morbid conditions on the mind in the sleeping state 
which in waking moments are either not noticed or are 
corrected by the intelligence. It seems possible for 
healthy suggestion to combat and conquer many of the 
conditions which are thus ushered in. 


Some years ago I attended a case in point. The patient, a lady of 
thirty, had always been neurotic, and had suffered from indifferent 
health. She was. however, able to get through life fairly well until in 
September, 1890, she went to stay away from home. In the evening 
the assembled company set themselves to tell the most blood curdling 

stories they could think of, with the result that Miss X retired to 

her room in a state of terror, and with unstrung nerves. She had to 
sleep alone, a thing she was unaccustomed to. and this added to her 
alarm. In the middle of the night the house was aroused by screams 
proceeding from her room, and when an entrance was made Miss 
X was found in an attack of violent hysteria. When she re- 
covered from the fit she was only able to remember that she had had 
a terrifying dream embodying the stories she had heard. From that 
time her health completely gave way ; she started at the least sound, 
ingestion of food was always followed by vomiting, and obstinate 
insomnia supervened. She underwent a six weeks' course of Weir- 
Mitchell treatment, from which she derived no benefit, and then, after 
a further three months of misery, expressed her wish to try hypnotism. 
She was not an easv subject, as her mind was in such a condition 
that it was almost impossible to fix her attention, and at first, when- 
ever she felt going off, she could not help pulling herself up with a 
start. However, perseverance prevailed, and from the moment she 
was slightly influenced she began to improve. She was restored, after 
two months' treatment, to about the same state of health she was in 
before the attack. 

Dreams merging into somnambulism may produce 
tragic results. Dr. G. Tourdes* relates how a man sleep- 
ing beside his wife dreamed that she was a robber whom 
he must kill. He accordingly attempted to suffocate her 
with a pillow, and it was with great difficulty that she 
succeeded in waking him, and so saving her life. 

In 1843 a young man was tried for the attempted 
murder of an innkeeper at Lyons. t He had arrived at the 
inn towards nightfall, and was allotted a room. In the 
dead of night loud cries were heard from this room, and 
the landlord, rushing in to see what was the matter, was 
set upon by his guest and seriously wounded. It was 
ascertained that the young man was a somnambulist, who 
had dreamt that the landlord was murdering the occu- 
pants of a room near his own, and that he was defending 
them. He was, of course, acquitted. A case is also 
recorded by Drs. Guy and Ferrier, in their ' Forensic 

* Article ' Sommeil,' ' Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des Sciences 

t ' Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des Sciences Me"dicales,' article 
' Somnambulisme,' by Drs. Ball and Chambard. 


Medicine.' ' Two men, being in a place infested by 
robbers, engaged that one should watch while the 
other slept. But the watcher, falling asleep, and dream- 
ing that he was pursued, shot his companion through the 

We have many instances of mental work being ac- 
complished during somnambulism. Professor Woehner,* 
of Gottingen, after vainly trying for several days to write 
a Greek poem on a given subject, composed it success- 
fully while in this condition, which probably was 
brought about by the mental strain of his previous futile 
efforts. t 

A clear case of somnambulism was that of a clergyman, 
whom his wife saw rise from bed in his sleep, go to a 
writing-table, and write rapidly for some minutes. This 
done, he returned to bed, and slept on until morning. 
On awaking, he told her that in a dream he had worked 
out an argument for a sermon, of which he now retained 
no recollection whatever. She led him to the writing- 
table, and showed him the written sheet, upon which he 
found his argument worked out in the most satisfactory 

It rarely happens, however, that solutions of problems, 
poems, etc., written by persons in this state, have any 
value. They may begin well, but generally drift into 
nonsense, probably because the mental concentration has 
been dispelled by some new idea crossing the first, and 
displacing it. 

Habitual somnambulism may be natural — that is, may 
exist without any actual disease, though it is hardly ever 
found in persons of robust bodily and mental constitution. 
It is not uncommon in delicate or nervous children and 
young persons, but if with advancing years the mind and 
body gain strength, the tendency to it is likely to decrease 

* ' Dictionnaire Encyclopedique,' etc. 

t Coleridge's poetical fragment, ' Kubla Khan,' was probably com- 
posed in a dream — not in somnambulism — as he remembered and 
wrote it down on awaking. 


and finally disappear.* Accidental somnambulism is 
directly produced by illness or mental strain, and may 
occur in normally healthy persons of great intellectual 
power. When the state is habitual or frequent, the som- 
nambulist may be said to lead two lives, one almost dis- 
tinct from the other, and to have two entirely unconnected 
memories. Memory, as we generally understand it, is 
dormant during somnambulism. The sleeper remembers 
nothing that has occurred during his waking hours, and, 
when he again awakes, has no recollection of his actions 
daring the somnambulistic state. Yet, in his next attack 
of somnambulism, the memory of these is likely to come 
back to him. 

The effect of natural or accidental somnambulism on 
the health is anything but beneficial. An attack is gene- 
rally followed by feelings of weariness and discomfort, 
for which the subject is at a loss to account. The con- 
centrated mind-power does not operate in a beneficial 
direction, but impels the sleeper to bodily or mental 
effort likely to have an exhausting and hurtful effect upon 
him. But the artificially-produced mental condition seen 
in hypnotism can be turned to therapeutic uses, and be 
made to fill a void which no other plan of treatment can 
reach. Dr. Bernheim considers hypnotic sleep analogous 
to the natural state, with the important difference that in 
natural sleep the subject is only in relation with himself, 
whereas in the artificial state he is in relation with the 
operator, who is therefore able to direct the thoughts into 
the channel he wishes. That it resembles natural sleep 
is proved by the fact that it is possible in certain cases 
for one to pass into the other. Dr. Van Eeden told me 
that a patient of his, a gentleman, wearied by long wait- 
ing and exhausted by the heat, fell asleep in the waiting- 
room. The doctor came in, and, seeing him asleep, said, 
' Don't wake, but come with me into my consulting-room.' 

* Ordinary somnambulism is best treated by hypnotic suggestion. 
I have cured several cases very speedily, and natural somnambulists 
are generally good hypnotic subjects. 


The patient got up and, with assistance, did as he was 
desired. After the treatment was over he was led back 
in the same way to his former seat in the waiting- 
room, and allowed to finish his sleep. He soon awoke, 
apologized to the other patients for having slept, and 
expressed surprise that his turn had not yet come for 
seeing the doctor. Great was his astonishment when he 
was told that the seance had taken place and was finished 
without his knowing anything about it. Dr. Maury,* who 
cannot be accused of being too easily influenced, gives 
some instances in which, while sitting by his fireside 
dozing after dinner, he had heard, as in a dream, the 
words uttered by his wife and friends, and had followed 
out the train of thought suggested by them in his dreams, 
and had even acted upon suggestions so made.f If a 
person is very tired it is frequently possible to obtain 
an answer to a question whispered in his ear without 
awakening him. Dr. Hack Tuke and Mr. Braid give 
several examples of this in their writings. 

Braid, for instance, tells of a naval officer who was the 
subject of many practical jokes. He entertained and, 
without awaking, acted upon any idea which was sug- 
gested to him when asleep. On one occasion, while lying 
in his berth, he was told that his ship was in action, and 
that his men were fighting all around him. His face 
immediately assumed an expression of martial excite- 
ment, and he wielded an imaginary sword. His friends 
supplied details of the fight, telling him that the battle 
was going against them, and that his dearest companions 
were being killed ; then his expression changed to one of 
fear. Finally, when told that all his friends were slain, 
and that the rout was complete, he leaped from his place 

* ' Le Sommeil et les Reves,' Paris, 1865, p. 42. 

+ He relates how, on one occasion, he was sitting in his easy-chair 
half awake, when his wife spoke to him. He was awakened by the 
words, and remembered them, but was quite unable to tell whether he 
had uttered them himself, or whether they were his wife's. On this he 
remarks, ' How many actions and ideas are daily suggested to us by 
others which we act upon, thinking they are our own !' 


and fled with an aspect of terror. I have myself spoken 
to and received answers from nurses who had fallen 
asleep, worn out by long hours of watching ; and examples 
of such automatic answering must be familiar to most 
people. On the other hand, patients in the hypnotic 
sleep sometimes pass into the natural state, when they are 
no longer in relation with the operator, but follow their 
own ideas in ordinary dreams. 

The close analogy between sleep and hypnotism is 
shown in many ways. If a person is hypnotized every 
night, hypnosis may be made to take the place of sleep 
for an indefinite time, and the only difference observable 
in the two conditions would be that in hypnotic sleep the 
patient would not be easily aroused, if at all, and would 
be en rapport with the operator. The experience of one 
of my patients also points to this close resemblance. 
When not able to sleep at night he now repeats on him- 
self the process I used to adopt with him, viz., gentle 
stroking of the forehead. He tells me this never fails to 
send him to sleep in a few minutes. It would be interest- 
ing to ascertain if the sleep so induced possessed the 
characteristics of the hypnotic state. It is frequently 
possible to suggest dreams to the somnambulist. Thus I 
told an officer to dream that he was in Jamaica, and 
playing polo at Up Park Camp. When he awoke he 
volunteered the remark that he had had a most vivid 
dream, and proceeded to describe a polo match, of which 
he had filled in the details without help from me. 

As in natural somnambulism a person may be able to 
do things of which he is at other times incapable, so in the 
artificially-produced condition he can sometimes be made 
to excel himself. Dr. Beaunis found in experimenting 
with the dynamometer that the muscular power could be 
greatly increased at times by suggesting in the hypnotic 
state increased strength and effort; and one frequently 
finds that the grasp of an enfeebled patient can be per- 
ceptibly strengthened by similar suggestions. The thera- 
peutic bearing of this experiment is easily seen. 


Dr. Grazzini, of Florence, has kindly sent me some 
copies of drawings done, while in a state of hypnotic 
somnambulism, by an uneducated man who in waking 
moments hardly knew the use of a pencil. These copies 
are faithfully and well executed, but probably the man 
would have been quite unable to initiate a design. The 
faculty of imitation was strengthened by the hypnotic 
condition, and at the same time he concentrated all his 
attention on the figures, and took infinite pains to re- 
produce them. I have frequently told somnambulic 
subjects that on awaking they are to write such and such 
a sentence with their left hand, and have invariably 
found the task accomplished fairly well, though in many 
instances I have heard the same person before the opera- 
tion declare it impossible, and found him unable to make 
an intelligible letter. This may prove a practical hint in 
the case of left-handed children. 

An artist under the same circumstances would no 
doubt produce a drawing in his usual style ; and a 
musician, in a similar way, if asked to play, would perform 
some familiar air. Whatever a man's natural disposition 
might be, it would come out if he were in a state of pro- 
found hypnotic sleep ; but we shall see that ' suggestion ' 
in this condition has power to modify even life-long habits 
and deep-rooted tendencies.* 

* Frequent repetition of the suggestion, especially if done with 
confidence, has what may be called a cumulative action, expressed by 
Professor Delboeuf in a kind of mathematical formula. This, 'of 
course, is also the case in our waking moments, and is well under- 
stood and turned to account by advertising tradesmen. The an- 
nouncement in confident language on every blank wall, that ' Johnson's 
soap is the best,' becomes, by constant repetition, almost an axiom, 
and we are inclined to accept its truth. In the same way it is told 
of George IV. that from constantly repeating the story of his being at 
Waterloo, he at length got to believe that he had really taken part in 
the battle. 


Dr. Liebeault of Nancy. — Description of his Treatment. — System 
free from Mysticism. — Curative Suggestions. — Explanation of the 
Phenomena. — Definition of Hypnotism. — Absolute Sleep or Un- 
consciousness unnecessary for Curative Treatment. — Theory of 
Professor Charcot not accepted by the School of Nancy. — Propor- 
tion of Persons Hypnotizable and Degrees of Hypnotic Influence. 
— Phenomena of Somnambulism outside the Sphere of Psycho- 

I hope to have shown in the preceding chapters that 
Dr. Liebeault's system is the outcome of the collection 
and classification of many isolated facts previously 
neglected or misunderstood. That cures have been and 
still are worked by such means as are implied in faith- 
healing, the mind-cure, etc., and by charms and relics, is 
beyond doubt ; but it is not in the supernatural that we 
should seek for the explanation of them. They all pro- 
ceed from the same cause, and on the same lines. We 
have, first, the patient's strong desire for cure ; and, 
secondly, his firm belief in the efficacy of the means used ; 
while to these may generally be added the presence of a 
sympathetic and impressive environment. The reason- 
able and deliberative side of the patient's brain is 
suppressed, while the emotional or instinctive side is 
developed, and in proportion as the latter is predominant 
the greater generally is the success of the treatment. 
The Nancy school obtain, in suitable cases, as good 
results as it is possible to expect ; but they work on 
scientific principles and by recognised laws. 

A brief account of the treatment practised at Nancy, 


and of the theory which explains it, will, I think, make 
this clear.* 

If the visitor to Dr. Liebeault's dispensary be one who 
measures results by the impressiveness of the means used, 
he will surely be disappointed to find how commonplace 
are operators, patients, and building. The rooms are un- 
pretentious, and even shabby ; the patients are ordinary- 
looking people enough, belonging mostly to the artisan 
and labouring classes ; and the doctor himself, though he 
has goodness and kindliness written on every feature, is 
of unimposing presence ; while his habit of chatting on all 
sorts of subjects with the persons around him, even while 
receiving patients, has an odd and hardly impressive effect. 

The patient paying his first visit is directed to sit down 
and watch the treatment being applied to others. This 
gives him confidence, and arouses that imitative faculty, 
which is so active in childhood, and is never lost through- 
out adult life. When his turn comes, he is told to take 
his place in an armchair, and to make his mind as much 
a blank as possible — -' to think of nothing at all ' — and to 
fix his eyes and attention on some special object ; almost 
anything will do, from the operator's face or hand to a 
mark on the ceiling or the pattern of the carpet. Then 
the phenomena which attend the on-coming of natural 
sleep are gradually ' suggested ' to him : ' Your sight is 
growing dim and indistinct ; your eyelids are becoming 
heavy ; a numbness is creeping over your limbs ; my 
voice seems muffled to you ; you are getting more sleepy ; 
you cannot keep your eyes open.' Here the eyes close of 
themselves, or are closed by the operator, and it is generally 
found that the patient is indeed asleep. 

About two minutes of this 'talk about sleep' will usually 
produce the hypnotic effect on a new patient; and on sub- 
sequent visits even less time is required. 

* Dr. Rolleston gives an interesting account of a visit to Nancy in 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital Reports, 1889, and Sir Francis Cruise 
describes his visit in the Dub/in Journal of Medical Science, May, 
1 891. See also the account of a visit to Lidbeault's clinique by Sir 
T. Lauder Brunton in his book, ' The Action of Medicines,' p. 227. 


The patient being more or less influenced, Dr. Liebeault 
now proceeds with the treatment proper. This consists 
essentially in directing the invalid's attention to the part 
affected, and suggesting an amelioration or disappearance 
of the morbid condition and symptoms. To take a very 
simple case — let us suppose that the malady is chronic 
nervous headache. The part of the head affected is gently 
rubbed, so that the patient's attention shall be attracted 
to it, and he is told that the pain is to disappear — that he 
will awake feeling his head cool, clear, and comfortable, 
and that there is to be no return of the trouble. In 
ordinary cases the whole process will not have lasted 
more than five minutes when Dr. Liebeault brings it to a 
close by arousing the patient, which he does by telling 
him to open his eyes and awake. This is generally 
enough ; he awakes as from ordinary sleep, and is told to 
vacate the armchair in favour of the next patient. When 
asked how he feels, he will generally reply that he is 
better, and very often that the pain has entirely vanished. 
He is quite his natural self, and can leave the room at 
once and go about his work as usual. Long acquaintance 
with the system prevents an inhabitant of Nancy from 
regarding it as anything remarkable, and a sick person 
consults Dr. Liebeault just as he would consult any other 
physician, with the simple idea that the treatment will do 
him good. He does not trouble himself with metaphysical 
theories, but is content to know that some acquaintance 
has been cured of a complaint similar to his own, and 
that he himself hopes to be relieved in a few days. 
Liebeault generally places his hand over the epigastrium, 
and applies gentle friction, suggesting as he does so a 
sensation of warmth. He regards a responsive glow as 
almost essential to the success of subsequent treatment, 
and it is the first link in the chain which constitutes 
rapport between physician and patient. The fulfilment 
of the first suggestion tends to augment the patient's 
confidence, and leads to the more ready reception of those 
which follow. This point is one of great practical im- 


portance, and we generally feel that we can do good 
when we can induce this responsive warmth, no matter 
how slight the hypnotic influence may be. The feeling 
is quite different to that produced by simple friction, and 
requires to be felt to be appreciated. The magnetisers 
attributed it to the passage of magnetic fluid from them 
to the patient ; but, as we regard all the manifestations of 
hypnotism as subjective, we must of course seek another 
explanation. This is found by supposing that the sensa- 
tion is due to action on the vaso-motor system through 
the solar plexus, allowing a sudden afflux of blood to the 
part. The warmth is not merely imaginary, for it is 
appreciable to the touch and by the thermometer, and 
is in fact analogous to blushing. 

If the hypnotic sleep has been profound, it may be 
necessary twice or thrice to repeat the order to awake, 
and even to enforce it by fanning the patient, or blowing 
gently upon his eyes ; but the simple command is nearly 
always sufficient. 

There certainly is nothing mysterious in all this, and 
Dr. Liebeault seems to take pleasure in making his whole 
mode of treatment clear to any serious inquirer, and in 
giving the rational explanation of everything that he does. 
He directs the patient to fix his attention on a certain 
point in order to strain the accommodation of the eyes 
and tire the sight. The effect of the strain is to cause 
dilatation of the pupils and consequent dimness of vision. 
The feeling of heaviness in the eyelids results from the 
fatigue of keeping them open in a strained position, and 
the assertion that the eyes are becoming tired and the 
sight dim is therefore founded on physiological data, and 
is not guesswork. The eyes being tired, the natural im- 
pulse is to close them, and this act calls up a previous 
association of ideas connected with fatigued or confused 
sight. That association points to sleep, towards which 
the patient is rapidly led, aided by the monotonous tones 
of the operator suggesting it to him, and by his mind 
being free from all disturbing thoughts, and his nerves 



from all external stimuli. He falls asleep, in fact, much 
in the same manner as one does when reading a dull book 
or listening to a not too brilliant discourse. Dr. Maury, 
in his well-known book on sleep and dreams, says : ' The 
less the mind is occupied with ideas, the more easily can 
the thoughts be directed into any given channel. If 
nothing claims our notice or holds our attention, the 
cerebro-spinal system, for want of that gentle stimulation 
which is necessary to it, falls into a state of semi-torpor 
inseparable from atony of the nervous system.' 

In the chapter on sleep in Carpenter's ' Physiology,' 
various conditions are mentioned as being favourable to 
it, one being the desire for it, another the expectation of 
it. We expect, from previous experience, that if we lie 
down in a certain place, sleep will follow. The faculty of 
imitation helps to bring it about ; when we see others 
dozing we naturally incline to follow their example, and 
at night the consciousness that all around us are asleep 
disposes us to seek the same condition. Talking about 
sleep is apt to induce somnolence, just as talking about 
food may provoke hunger. And a monotonous sound, 
such as a droning voice of a speaker, or the breaking of 
gentle waves upon the seashore, tends to encourage 
slumber. Thus it will be seen how closely the artificial 
method I have described follows natural rules. This 
method may fail, just as we may fail to obtain natural 
sleep, or may battle it off should we desire to remain 
awake. If a patient wishes to resist the somnolent in- 
fluence, he can do so by refusing to concentrate his 
thoughts, or by inducing some physical discomfort — for 
instance, by placing himself in an uneasy position. 
Strong emotion, such as anger or fear, will prevent the 
hypnotic sleep ; so will severe pain, hunger, thirst, and, 
indeed, anything which preoccupies the mind or agitates 
the nervous system. Constitutional idiosyncrasies affect 
this just as they affect the normal sleep. The naturally 
restless sleeper will be restless, and he who commonly goes 
off as soon as his head touches the pillow will quickly 


succumb to the hypnotic influence. The extent to which 
a person is influenced varies according to his mental and 
physical condition. If he is of restless and flighty tem- 
perament, it may be impossible to fix his attention for even 
the few minutes that are necessary, and no effect is pro- 
duced — except, perhaps, an inclination on his part to 
treat the whole affair as a jest, and a consequent irritation 
on the part of the doctor. But in ordinary cases some 
effect is certainly produced, if not on a first visit, still on 
subsequent ones. This effect will vary in various patients, 
some feeling only a heaviness and torpor, with a disin- 
clination to open the eyes, while others fall into a more 
or less profound sleep, or into a state of somnambulism. 
Dr. Liebeault divides the sleep into six different stages,* 
but as these really merge imperceptibly into each other, 
the division is purely arbitrary, and is made for con- 
venience in classification. They may be shortly summed 
up as : (1) Light sleep ; (2) profound sleep ; (3) somnam- 

The first and second stages closely resemble and are 
analogous to ordinary sleep ; but the third is sui generis, 
and will require a few words later on. Though it is 
analogous to natural sleep, there is one very important fact 
which shows that the conditions are not identical. If an 
ordinary sleeper is spoken to, he is generally aroused by 
the stimulating effect of the sound conveyed to the brain 
through the auditory nerves, but one in the hypnotic state 
may be talked to without being disturbed ; the effect will, 
on the contrary, be soothing. He is, in fact, en rapport 
with the outer world, though only to a limited extent, 
whereas in natural sleep he is en rapport only with his own 

Upon this difference depends the possibility of apply- 
ing curative suggestion. Carpenter {op. cit.) says that the 
very closure of the eyes renders the other senses more 
acute ; and we have seen that the inactivity of one sense 
is nearly always compensated for by increased sensitive- 

* See Appendix, p. 341, note 8. 


ness of the others. Now, in the hypnotic state all the 
senses are more or less torpid and in abeyance until 
called into play by the operator. Physiologists suppose 
that during activity the nerve-centres are continually dis- 
charging nervous energy in all directions, in response to 
stimulating impressions received through the senses ; but 
in sleep a state of inactivity is induced, and the nervous 
force accumulates in the brain cells. Natural sleep comes 
as a consequence of fatigue, and because the store of 
nerve-energy is nearly or entirely exhausted. During its 
continuance a fresh store of nerve-energy will be laid up, 
and if it be undisturbed, the store will go on increasing 
until sufficient is acquired for complete nerve recupera- 
tion. This point attained, the sleeper, if in good mental 
and bodily health, will awake naturally, and feel no further 
desire for slumber. But as the hypnotic state may be 
produced at any time in the twenty-four hours, and long 
before any perceptible inroad has been made on the store 
of nerve-energy laid up during the previous natural sleep, 
it follows that during the artificial sleep there may be 
great accumulation and excess of energy. All this can be 
concentrated and directed into any channel the physician 
may desire ; and this concentrated and directed nerve- 
force must naturally affect the system more powerfully 
than any ordinary nervous impression. This fact may 
explain the rapid production of congestion to a given 
part (alluded to in Chapter V.), and also the sensation 
of warmth usually experienced in any part to which the 
attention has been drawn. It also accounts for the 
success of the treatment in some cases of paralysis of long 

We may imagine in such a case, and the surmise would 
probably be physiologically correct, that the nervous 
channels are blocked to ordinary impulses sent to them 
from the brain, but that the extraordinary impulse from 
an accumulation and concentration of nerve-force is suffi- 
cient to break down and overcome the obstruction ; as a 
dam which easily withstands ordinary currents is swept 


away upon the bursting of a reservoir, by the rush of 
accumulated water. 

Bernheim defines hypnotism as the production of a 
psychical condition in which the faculty of receiving impressions 
by suggestion is greatly increased. But this is only half the 
truth ; for not only is the receptivity increased, but the 
power to act upon and carry out the suggestion is in- 
creased likewise. Suggestions have all the force of com- 
mands, and the patient will strain every nerve to obey 
them. They are received as true, and the idea tends to 
be realized and to be carried into execution as action. 
If he is told to move a paralyzed limb, or to speak after 
months of loss of voice, one can see what intense effort 
he puts into the attempt to comply. A stammerer 
making such effort will speak fluently, and a deaf person 
will distinctly hear a whisper. To express adequately the 
cause of such effects, the word 'suggestion,' in English at 
least, is far too weak, and therefore somewhat misleading. 

The increased force of suggestion does not depend so 
much as one might suppose on the profoundness of the 
sleep. In the case of deafness, referred to above, the 
hypnotic effect was extremely slight ; and, on the other 
hand, I have heard a person in a state of decided som- 
nambulism argue with the operator as to the correctness 
of his assertions. In applying suggestion, all that is 
necessary is a state of increased receptivity of ideas sug- 
gested by the operator, and an ignoring of other impres- 
sions. This attained, it matters little from a therapeutic 
point of view whether light sleep, profound sleep, or som- 
nambulism, is produced. My own experience, like that of 
all observers whom I have known, is that good results are 
effected when there has been no loss of consciousness, 
and even when the patient denies having felt any hypnotic 
influence.* Dr. Arthur, when at the East End Wesleyan 

* A gentleman, whom I have treated for various nervous affections, 
always denies having slept, and protests that he has remained con- 
scious of everything going on around him. Yet if I put some sm.ill 
article, such as a paper-knife, into his hand during the sleep, and tell 
him to hold it tightly, he will do so, and on being aroused will show 
surprise at finding himself grasping it. 


Mission, showed me a case of obstinate intercostal 
neuralgia after shingles cured in a single sitting, though 
the patient, a seafaring man of over forty, barely felt a 
slight degree of somnolence. He could have opened his 
eyes at any moment, but — and this is the important point 
— he was very conscious of a glow of reflex warmth when 
Dr. Arthur passed his hand over the seat of pain and 
suggested it. 

Consciousness is lost only in the advanced stages of 
profound sleep, and even when this has occurred there is 
often partial remembrance on waking of many things that 
have happened during the sleep. A patient in profound 
sleep may be questioned, and will probably return answers, 
unless the question be put too brusquely, when it will be 
likely to wake him, or too gently, when he may shrink from 
replying; for a person in this state dislikes being disturbed, 
and is especially unwilling to exert his reflective faculties. 
Nevertheless, if questioned as to his complaint, he will 
describe his symptoms truthfully, and thus may help the 
physician in his diagnosis and treatment. 

Bernheim seems to accept the theory of Herbert 
Spencer, and of most psychologists, that two sorts of 
nervous action go on within the brain — the one automatic 
and instinctive, the other rational, volitional, and de- 
liberative. Hypnotism suppresses the latter (the Ego of 
some psychologists), and allows full play to the former. 
It follows that where the second kind of nervous action 
prevails in an individual, he is less liable to be acted upon 
by external impressions, and is less the creature of impulse 
than one in whom the first kind is predominant. The 
more a man's actions are the result of impulse rather than 
of reason, the more susceptible he is to external impres- 
sions, and therefore to suggestive treatment.* 

This brings us to the question, Who are the best sub- 

* He who obeys his instincts, and instantly knocks down a man 
who has insulted him (this being a purely automatic action), would 
thus be a better subject for hypnotism than he who deliberately calls a 
policeman and goes in for damages. 


jects for the treatment, and how far is it applicable to the 
bulk of mankind ? 

The late Professor Charcot asserted that it is suitable, 
and indeed possible, only for hysterical subjects, and that 
hypnotism is a pathological condition, or induced neurosis. 
He divided the hypnotic sleep into three well-defined 
stages: (1) Lethargy; (2) catalepsy; (3) somnambulism; 
and contended that there is a regular sequence in these, 
and that, according to the will of the operator, one or 
other can be produced. 

He obtained a state of lethargy by fixing the patient's 
eyes on a given point, or by gentle pressure on the eye- 
balls. This state resembles natural profound sleep, but is 
distinguished from it, and from all other conditions, by a 
characteristic feature — neuro-muscular hyper-excitability ; 
i.e., if one presses a nerve, the muscles supplied by that 
nerve will be put into action, and if a muscle is stroked or 
pressed, it will contract. Thus, pressure on the ulnar nerve 
will, in Charcot's subjects, produce flexion of the third and 
fourth fingers, adduction of the thumb, extension and 
separation of the first and second fingers. It passes into 
the second stage when the eyelids are opened : cataleptic 
rigidity may now be produced in a limb, and it may be 
bent or placed in any position. Moreover, emotions cor- 
responding with the position are evoked. If the subject is 
put into a pugilistic attitude, his expression will become 
fierce and determined ; if into one of prayer, he will wear 
the aspect of devotion. Moreover, if only one eye be 
opened, one-sided catalepsy is produced, and the other 
side remains lethargic. A bright light or sudden noise 
will also produce this condition, and in closing the eyes 
the subject falls into lethargy. The third stage is pro- 
duced from the first or second by gently rubbing the top 
of the head, when the cataleptic condition will vanish, and 
other characteristics will appear, chief among which are 
abnormal acuteness of the senses, and obedience to sug- 

Though I have completely failed to find these three 


stages in any of my somnambulic subjects, and though the 
experience of most observers is of an equally negative 
character, I am not prepared to say that they do not 
occur in a few hysterical subjects without suggestion. 
Dr. Grazzini, of Florence, and Dr. Barwise, of Blackburn, 
tell me that they have elicited them spontaneously. 

Drs. Liebeault, Bernheim, Beaunis, and others of the 
Nancy school, deny the existence of these three stages. 
They assert that their experience in treating hypnotically 
a vast number of patients leads them to the conclusion 
that nothing resembling them has been or can be evoked 
spontaneously. They consider, in fact, that Professor 
Charcot has introduced a new hysterical condition into 
the Salpetriere, and that this has become, as it were, an 
institution of the place which every new-comer hastens to 
comply with. They support this assertion by showing 
that when they in their Nancy practice explained to 
hysterical patients the effects produced by Charcot, the 
three stages, never before manifested, were forthcoming. 
Bernheim has well said : ' Mefiez-vous de la suggestion ;' 
and an English physician has given an equally sage warn- 
ing : ' Take care, or you will find what you are looking 
for.'* Charcot thus entered the field weighted with a 
theory which he seemed unable to shake off. If one of his 
school is shown a broad-shouldered navvy or a sun-dried 
old soldier in a state of profound hypnotic sleep, and is 
asked whether this looks like a hysterical subject, he 
will reply that appearances are deceptive, and that the 
very process of hypnotizing has developed a latent con- 
dition of hysteria, or one analogous to it.t The dis- 

* Braid was at one time misled into supposing that by touching the 
phrenological ' bumps ' he produced corresponding effects. For in- 
stance, it he touched the 'bump' of Destructiveness, the subject im- 
mediately proceeded to hit out and to destroy whatever was within his 
reach ; if that of Benevolence, he would give away his watch, purse, 
etc., to any bystander. The fact is, that the sense of sight (under the 
apparently closed eyelids), that of hearing, etc., are so abnormally 
acute in somnambulists, that the slightest hint of expression, voice or 
touch, is sufficient to evoke from them the desired response. 

t The fanciful method adopted by Charcot to produce the hypnotic 
state may give rise to unexpected results. Some of his highly 


coveries of Professor Charcot in physiology and pathology 
fully entitle him to the world-wide reputation which he 
enjoys ; but the attitude he has chosen to adopt towards 
hypnotism is unfortunate. By attaching undue import- 
ance to le grand hypuotismc, as seen in his subjects at the 
Salpetriere, and by ignoring what his school calls le petit 
hypuotismc, and confining his researches to hysterical 
cases, he has retarded the progress of rational hypnotism. 
Of the considerable number of medical men I have met 
who have attended Charcot's demonstrations, not one has 
looked upon hypnotism as more than a toy, and not one 
has adopted it for the treatment of disease ; whereas all 
those I have met who have studied the subject at the 
cliniques at Nancy have been thoroughly convinced of the 
value of the treatment, and have adopted it into their 
practice.* To my mind, the great merit of Dr. Liebeault 
is that he approaches the subject with only one end in 
view — the relief of disease. If the theories he has deduced 
from observed facts (for every man who is not a mere 
empiric must hold theories) do not, after closer observa- 
tion, continue to correspond with them, the theories are 

' educated ' subjects fall into a state of catalepsy if a bright light is 
suddenly turned full on their eyes, and by the action of this excitant 
a hysterical patient of his was lately taken in flagrante delicto. She 
had stolen into a room, gone to a chest of drawers, and actually placed 
her hand on a coveted photograph which she intended to abstract, 
when a bright ray of light shot through a chink direct into her tyes, 
and she remained entranced and motionless until she was discovered. 
h'tvue de CHypnotisme, October, 1889.) I have never heard of the 
hypnotic condition being thus involuntarily and spontaneously induced, 
when the Nancy method has been employed. 

* Perhaps here I may be allowed to say that my own experience in 
this matter is a very pleasant one. It has been my privilege to de- 
monstrate the Nancy treatment to a large number of medical men. and 
not only have they been kind enough to express appreciation of what 
they have seen, but they have practically shown it by at once trying 
the method in their own practices. Doctors are naturally only too 
pleased to adopt a new treatment which has been proved useful and 
which will help them to deal with many troublesome cases ; but it 
requires to be presented to them in a manner free from mysticism and 
exaggeration. The enthusiasm the good Dr. Liebeault shows is a part 
of his character, and lends a great charm to his advocacy of hypnotism; 
but discretion is the better part for his followers, and I think they fully 
realize this. 



thrown over, and not the facts, as too often happens. 
The Nancy school may therefore be called practical and 
therapeutic, in distinction from Charcot's, which is theo- 
retical and experimental. 

The following table, taken from Professor Beaunis's 
work, proves what a mistake it is to suppose that only 
hysterical persons are influenced by the treatment. 

Patients submitted to hypnotization by Dr. Liebeault 
in 1880 (1,014) : 

Not influenced 




Light sleep 


Heavy sleep 


Very heavy sleep 


Somnambulism (slig 



Ditto (ad\ 

anced) ... 



Professor Beaunis shows as follows the percentage of 
the different stages of hypnotism at different ages : 

1 Som- 






To 7 years 






7 to 14 „ 







14 „ 21 „ 







21 „ 28 „ 







28 „ 35 „ 

22 - 6 

5 "9 




5 '9 

35 » 42 „ 







42 „ 49 „ 

21 "6 






49 „ 56 , 







56 „ 63 „ 



37 '6 




63 and above 







These statistics refer, of course, to Nancy, and, as has 
been already pointed out, that town is pervaded by an 
atmosphere of hypnotism and suggestion. But Dr. Van 
Eeden assures me that at Amsterdam he finds the propor- 
tion of the ' uninfluenced ' but little larger, and the ex- 


perience of Moll in Berlin, Wetterstrand in Stockholm, 
Bramwell, Kingsbury, Cruise, Woods, and other observers 
all over the world, is of a similar nature. The proportion 
of somnambulists, however, is undoubtedly much greater 
at Nancy than we could expect to find it in England. 
Among over 500 patients I found only about fifty. 

And here a word on the subject of somnambulism. 
Though Dr. Liebeault and his followers do not seek to 
enforce the somnambulic state, but find a state of gentle 
lethargy or drowsiness sufficient for ordinary curative 
purposes, he considers that it is well to induce in the 
patient the most advanced state of hypnosis to which he 
is susceptible ; for the more complete the hypnosis, the 
less liable are the patient's morbid auto-suggestions to 
interfere with the curative processes. Natural somnam- 
bulism is nearly always associated with mental or bodily 
weakness, but the artificial variety is not dependent on 
defective health, mental or physical. Private soldiers 
and agricultural labourers are not generally considered 
neurotic, but they are 'good subjects' for hypnotism, and 
a large proportion — perhaps a fourth — will be found to 
become somnambulic. 

Strong muscular and intelligent men and women are, 
in my experience, the best subjects for hypnotism. This 
was what Dr. Hugh Wingfield found when he was 
assistant demonstrator of anatomy at Cambridge. He 
experimented on a great number of undergraduates, and 
the majority of them proved extremely good subjects. A 
few years ago, during a visit to the University, I was 
asked to hypnotize a party of undergraduates in a friend's 
rooms. Ten out of twelve were easily influenced, two or 
three to the extent of somnambulism. Now, we know 
that these young men constitute the pick of the nation, 
intellectually and physically, and such experience proves 
the fallacy of the contention which one sometimes hears 
urged against hypnotism, that it is only applicable to 
fools and weaklings. 

I understand that persons who make a public show of 


hypnotism always express a preference for muscular sub- 
jects. Probably strong healthy people are more trustful 
and less fidgety than the weak and neurotic. 

But I think the most interesting psychical results are 
likely to be achieved with neurotic subjects whose nervous 
systems are highly strung. I am not, however, at all 
sure on this point, seeing that some of the most interest- 
ing series of experiments in advanced hypnotism, in- 
cluding thought transference and second personality, have 
been made by Professor Janet of Havre with a strong- 
framed fisherwoman as the subject ; and the Brighton 
experiments of the Society for Psychical Research were 
made on a young healthy tradesman. 

Somnambulism is not an essential product of hypnotism, 
and, interesting though its phenomena may be from a 
pathological and psychological point of view, they are no 
more a part of suggestive treatment than an exhibition of 
the poisonous effects of drugs is a part of ordinary medical 
practice. They help to elucidate points in the treatment, 
and therefore must be studied, but experimentation upon 
them is outside the scope of the physician, as such.* 

* See Appendix. Hypnotism being a new thing in England, the 
knowledge of it seems chiefly confined to theory, and one has to hear 
many fanciful and exaggerated statements. For instance, in an article 
on the subject in the Saturday Review of December 8, J 888. a propos 
of a paper of mine in the Nineteenth Century Tor December, the writer, 
evidently a medical man, states that a person once hypnotized is at 
the mercy of the operator, who can repeat the operation at will, even 
without the consent of the patient. Further, that anyone can easily 
hypnotize a person who has once submitted to hypnotism ; and again, 
that a person once hypnotized is unable to look people in the face 
without feeling an irresistible desire to sleep. I have made inquiries 
among my patients of both sexes, some of whom have been hypnotized 
many times, and have fallen into the profounder degrees of sleep. 
'1 hey can all certainly look me in the face for any length of time 
without ieeling in the least degree sleepy ; and they all tell me that 
until they entirely give up their minds to the operation no soporific 
effect is produced. Most misleading conclusions have been drawn 
from exceptional cases, such as that of the ' Soho sleeper.' These 
belong in no sense to hypnotism as a therapeutic system, but are 
examples of hysteria. Constantly hypnotizing a weak-minded person 
for experimental purposes will probably bring about a morbid state 
of brain, and such abuse of a therapeutic agent can only be deprecated 
and discouraged. 


Psycho-Therapeutics not an exclusive System of Treatment. — Some 
Diseases found to benefit from it. — Organic processes affected 
by Hypnotic Suggestion. — Blisters and Stigmata so caused. — 
Treatment especially useful in Neurotic Diseases. — Hysteria. 
Hypochondriasis, Dipsomania, and the Opium Habit. — Moral De- 
pravity. — Double Consciousness. — Permanence of Cures. — Hyp- 
notism distinct from Magnetism. — Possible Abuse of Hypnotism 
not a Bar to its Use in Medical Treatment.— Restrictions and 
Precautions necessary. 

We are now in a position to speak of suggestion as a 
mode of treatment and cure, and we will first consider to 
what class of diseases it has hitherto proved applicable. 
And here I may say that, although Dr. Liebault rarely 
gives medicines, but obtains most of his remarkable results 
by the suggestive treatment pure and simple, his followers 
by no means dispense with those remedies which the re- 
searches of generations of able men have put within their 
reach. In suitable cases they make use of dietetics, drugs, 
electricity and massage, and the combination of those 
means with suggestion often gives better results than any 
one method of treatment. 

The suggestive method is especially applicable to chronic 
complaints. Rheumatic and gouty pains often yield to it, 
as do also many diseases of malnutrition, such as anaemia 
and ' general debility.' In derangement of the functions 
in women it acts very beneficially, both in checking ex- 
cessive loss and in promoting a proper flow ; also in 
relieving or curing periodic sufferings of all kinds. In 
chronic constipation and diarrhoea it has excellent effects, 
and patients usually find that the intestinal functions 
become regular through its use. Indeed, therapeutic 


suggestion gives a healthy tone to the organic system 
generally, and tends to regulate all its functions. A con- 
sideration of the experiments of Bernheim, Delbceuf, and 
others will render this statement more comprehensible 
than it may appear on the surface. 

Suggestion is extremely useful in cramp from the over- 
use of certain muscles, such as is commonly found among 
writers and telegraph clerks. It is very successful also in 
some cases of old-standing paralysis, and especially so in 
the infantile variety. Many practitioners speak highly of 
its curative power in nervous affections of the eyes, e.g., 
hysterical amaurosis, and it is found beneficial in a few 
forms of deafness. In fact, whenever we find chronic 
disease resisting the usual methods of treatment, sug- 
gestion may be thought of as a useful ally. 

Perhaps some readers will consider the scope here 
given to suggestion too wide, but I am convinced that 
its intelligent use by the medical attendant will be found 
beneficial in many cases where drugs do not act satis- 
factorily, or to reinforce the action of drugs. For in- 
stance, it may be desirable to give ipecacuanha, but the 
retching following its administration may render its use 
impossible at an important time ; or a mild cathartic may 
induce colic, often half imaginary ; in such cases hypnotic 
suggestion may be useful to calm oversensitiveness. In 
how many diseases, such as typhoid and rheumatic fevers, 
are the attendant weariness and restlessness among the 
most distressing symptoms ! These may often be re- 
lieved by this treatment, which is here advocated, not 
as a speciality, but as an auxiliary in practice to every 
medical man. Professor Bernheim uses it practically for 
every case in his wards, and finds it of immense value in 
calming nervous excitability, improving general nutrition, 
and producing refreshing sleep. Dr. Myers relates how 
Bernheim hypnotized a patient who was brought into 
his wards suffering from pneumonia, accompanied with 
delirium and sleeplessness. The man slept quietly for 
two hours and awoke refreshed, fairly comfortable, and 


free from delirium. The physical signs of consolidation 
were the same after as they were before the sleep, but the 
attendant suffering was very greatly modified. 

Sir T. Lauder Brunton tells how he saw Liebeault treat 
a case of bronchitis. He hypnotized the patient, and 
suggested, ' You will have no more pain, no more spit, no 
more cough, when you wake up.' Dr. Brunton adds 
when the man woke up he had less pain, less cough, and 
less spit (op. cit., p. 232). 

When I was attending Liebeault's clinique, the only 
patient he did not try hypnotism on was a boy suffering 
from scabies, and for him he prescribed the usual sulphur 

The sick and those reduced in strength are exceptionally 
good subjects for hypnotic suggestion, and therefore offer 
a particularly favourable field for its employment. In 
many chronic cases it seems to give the patient a fresh 
start, and puts the system in a condition favourable to 
the action of other remedies — such as massage. I am 
certain that it will, in many instances, be found a 
valuable adjunct to the Weir-Mitchell method, and will 
supply the mental and moral element which is sometimes 
required in this treatment. Some patients are irritated 
rather than soothed by massage, and for these hypnotism 
will act as a preparatory step. Several well-known 
physicians, speaking to me on the subject of hypnotic 
suggestion, have told me that they find suggestion sufficient 
in their practice, without hypnotism, and have given several 
instances in which pseudo-paralysis and hysterical troubles 
generally have yielded to their well-timed assurances.* 

* Professor George Buchanan, of Glasgow {Lancet, June 20, 1885), 
records two cases treated by him by simple suggestion without hypno- 
tism. The first patient, a lady who had been bedridden and unable 
to move for months, was supposed to be suffering from spinal disease. 
Dr. Buchanan had but just returned from a visit to Lourdes, where 
he had been much struck by the ' miraculous' cures of nervous com- 
plaints closely simulating organic disease. He formed the opinion 
that this was a case of hysterical pain and paralysis, and he assumed 
a confident manner, and told the patient to turn on her other side. 
She did so, and he gradually got her out of bed ; and before he left 


But I maintain that if simple suggestion can work thus 
beneficially, its effects must be greatly increased by 
hypnotism, and that with this aid it will sometimes pro- 
duce results which it would be impossible for it to achieve 
alone, even in the most able hands. It is, as I have 
said elsewhere, through unwonted concentration of the 
imaginative powers upon a given point that suggestion 
works, and for most persons intense concentration is 
difficult — indeed, almost impossible to attain to in their 
normal state. Sir James Crichton Browne, in his eloquent 
address before the British Association at Leeds, in 1889, 
laid particular emphasis on the important role played by 
the imagination both in health and disease, and begged 
his audience to employ this power and direct it into 
proper curative channels. 

Dr. Liebeault strongly recommends the treatment for 
sprains and muscular strains. In such cases it may be 
combined with gentle massage of the injured part. In the 
acute stages it may relieve pain and quicken the natural 
processes of repair, and in chronic cases it seems to aid in 

the house she was able to walk about the room, and was free from 

The cure (Dr. Buchanan adds) appears permanent, for she was 
quite well eight years afterwards. The other case he cites is one of 
' hysterical knee,' which had been diagnosed and treated as disease 
of the joint. After a little manipulation he told the patient that she 
could walk, and she was at once able to do so, though the slightest 
movement previously had caused intense pain. These cases are very 
similar to many reported by Bernheim and others as having been 
cured by hypnotism, and they are, as Dr. Buchanan says, among the 
most intractable complaints which medical men are called upon to 
treat, the disorder being in the imagination, and not in the part which 
appears affected. 

The beneficial and curative action of suggestion is not confined to 
bodily ailments. We are all acquainted with numerous examples of 
cases where a ' word in season,' i.e., a suggestion falling on a recep- 
tive soil, has so influenced moral conduct that it has changed the 
entire life of the individual. 

The eloquence of Father Mathew and Gough, the temperance advo- 
cates, produced many as wonderful conversions of drunkards as hyp- 
notic suggestions can ever claim, and though a proportion of these 
were but temporary, others were both sudden and permanent. The 
history of all religious revivals abounds with instances of sinners being 
reached by suggestion under special circumstances of preparedness, 
who would never have been touched by ordinary preaching. 


absorption of any exudation or deposit which may have 
formed. The rapid relief of pain and restoration of move- 
ment in some of these cases must be seen to be believed. 

In cases of 'railway spine,' and of disorders resulting 
from shock and concussion generally, it affords hope of 
relief and cure ; and in such cases the patient should be 
allowed to remain in the hypnotic state for a considerable 
time, as the rest to the nervous system and freedom from 
pain and irritation are, no doubt, important factors in 
the cure. There is no question of the value of suggestion 
in the treatment of such nervous conditions as insomnia 
and hysteria, and of such diseases as require above all 
things mental calming and repose. It is often impossible 
in many cases of chronic disease to say how much of the 
suffering depends upon organic disease, and how much 
on reflex disturbance and functional derangement. This 
is well seen in diseases of the heart, where often the 
distress of the patient is quite out of proportion to the 
amount of lesion. In such cases the neurotic symptoms 
may often be relieved by hypnotic suggestion.* 

The use of hypnotism as a means of diagnosis should 
not be overlooked. Dr. Hamilton Osgood (loc. cit.) was 
enabled by its employment to discover the functional 
character of a paralysis which had been previously looked 
upon as of organic nature. 

Its power over the organic processes has been clearly 
shown by many experiments, made either on students of 
the system or on patients, with their own previous consent. 
A patient in the hypnotic sleep is told that he has burnt 
his hand or some other part of his body ; he not only 
feels heat and pain in the place indicated, but it frequently 
happens that the spot becomes red and inflamed, and 
exhibits all the objective signs of congestion, and even 
of inflammation, vesication, etc. The suggestion of the 
operator has, through the patient's imagination, been 

* On this point I would especially refer the reader to Dr. Buzzard's 
Presidential Address to the Neurological Society, i8qi (republished in 
book form). He clearly shows how fine are the differences between 
' functional ' and organic diseases of the nervous system. 



able to affect the vaso-motor functions of the sympathetic 
nervous system. This experiment and others of a like 
nature open up a wide field of pathological interest ; for 
if suggestion can cause an increased flow of blood to a 
part, and local congestion and inflammation, can it not 
also dissipate and cure these conditions when they occur 
in disease ? Clinical experience answers in the affirma- 

Professor Delbceuf, of Liege, desiring to ascertain the 
positive effect of hypnotic suggestion in the treatment of 
a burn, and being, of course, unable to find two persons of 
identical constitution and condition generally, used the 
ingenious device of producing, with caustic, two exactly 
similar burns on the same person — one on each arm — and 
of treating one wound by curative suggestion, combined 
with the usual remedies, and the other with the usual 
remedies only. Having induced hypnotic sleep, he sug- 
gested to the patient that the one arm should be cured 
painlessly and without any suppuration ; and it did in 
fact heal, by simple separation of the slough and healthy 
granulation, ten days earlier than the other, which went 
through the suppurative process, accompanied by inflam- 
mation and pain (op. cit., p. 9). Were this case not re- 
ported by a well-known savant, I confess I should feel 
some hesitation in recording it here ; as it is, its accuracy 
is beyond doubt. 

Professor Beaunis (op. cit.) notes a case in which, by 
suggestion, he regulated the pulse of a patient. Before 
sleep there were 96 pulsations in a minute, which during 
the sleep increased to 98*4. He suggested a reduction, 
and it fell to 92*4. The pulse having again risen to 100*2, 
he suggested an acceleration, and it further rose to ii5'5. 
The slackening and quickening of the pulse in each 
instance followed immediately upon the suggestion. The 
tracings were taken by Marcy's sphygmograph, and of 
these facsimile reproductions are given in Beaunis's work. 
He also succeeded in slightly raising the temperature of 
patients by suggesting an increase of warmth. 


I have myself frequently succeeded in modifying the 
heart's action by hypnotic suggestion to a notable extent 
by as many as 10 beats in either direction in the minute, 
but the subjects on whom vesication can be produced 
by suggestion are, I imagine, very few, and in them 
probably only after prolonged experimentation. I have 
on one occasion produced vomiting by suggestion. The 
patient, a dipsomaniac, who had relapsed and indulged in 
beer, required, I felt, very drastic treatment. He was a 
somnambulist, and in the trance state I told him that if 
he ever drank beer again it would act as an immediate 
emetic. I then awoke him and insisted on his drinking 
half a glass of ale. He had hardly swallowed it before 
it returned, though he was quite unconscious of the sug- 

Beaunis describes at some length the production of all 
the effects of a blister following the suggestion that one 
had been applied. ' M. Focachon, a chemist of Charmes, 
showed us (Drs. Bernheim, Beaunis, and Liebeault) this 
phenomenon on a patient whom he brought to Nancy. 
During her sleep, at about 11 a.m., eight postage stamps 
were applied to her left shoulder, while it was suggested to 
her that they were a blister. She was allowed to sleep all 
day, being, however, aroused for meals, and was kept 
under observation. When she retired for the night she 
was told to sleep until 7 the next morning. At 8.15 a.m. 
the dressing which had been put on was removed, and 
the stamps were found in situ. The surrounding skin, for 
four or five centimetres, was thickened, modified, and of 
yellowish-white colour. The cuticle, however, was not 
raised, and did not form a blister ; but it was thickened 
and wrinkled, and presented the appearance usual before 

* I have since received letters from this gentleman's friends, and 
what they say affords remarkable evidence of the deep-seated effect 
of hypnotic suggestion. A short time since he was taken suddenly 
ill at a cricket-match with what turned out to be acute pleurisy. As 
he was faint and in pain, he was given the usual rough-and-ready 
remedy — a glass of spirits. No sooner had he swallowed it than it 
returned. It was three months since I had last hypnotized him, but 
Dr. S had repeated my suggestions. 



complete vesication. The part of the skin was surrounded 
by a zone of intense redness and swelling.* M. Focachon 
and the patient returned to Charmes, and by 4 p.m. four 
or five vesicles were developed. Fifteen days later the 
blister was still suppurating freely. M. Focachon made 
a similar experiment on another patient, and in forty- 
eight hours produced a blister, which followed the same 
course.' The converse experiment has also proved success- 
ful. A blister is applied to a hypnotized subject who is 
told that it is a soothing liniment, and no vesication is 
produced (Alfred Fouillee, Rev. des Deux Mondes, May, 

Professors Bourru and Burot, of Rochefort, succeeded 
in causing haemorrhage from the nose, by suggesting that 
it should take place, in a young soldier of epileptic and 
hysterical constitution ; they even fixed the hour when it 
should come on. On this same subject Dr. Mabille, of 
the lunatic asylum at Lafond, produced instantaneously, 
by suggestion, haemorrhage from different parts of the 
body, exactly similar in character to the stigmata of some 
medieval saints.t 

Professor Krafft-Ebing, in his remarkable monograph 
on the case of lima Szandor, a young Hungarian girl of 
extremely hysterical type, gives an account of many ex- 
periments he performed on her. He was able by simple 
suggestion to produce blisters and haemorrhages and to 
effect marked alteration in temperature and in the 
character of the pulse and respiration.]: 

The temperature experiments of Krafft-Ebing with lima 

* Sir B. W. Richardson, in his kindly notice of my book in the 
Asclepiad, June, 1890, attributes the blisters produced in this case, not 
to suggestion, but to the fact that the gum on the postage stamps was 
of bad and irritating quality ! Dr. Albert Bonjean (L'Hypnotisme 
ses Rapports, avec le Droit et la The"rapeutique, Paris, 1S90) relates 
numerous experiments in which he was able to obtain stigmata and 
blisters by suggestion alone, without even touching the part affected. 

t The best modern example of a religious stigmatisce is that of the 
Belgian nun, Louise Lateau. The case was very fully investigated in 
1869 by Dr. Lefebvre, Professor at Louvain University, and other 
physicians, who came to the conclusion that the phenomenon was a 
genuine result of auto-suggestion. (Bonjean, op. at., p. 106.) 

X Op.cit. 


Szandor seem to have been confined to causing decrease 
of temperature — no doubt as affording the most striking 
evidence of the power of suggestion. At a meeting of the 
Medical Union of Vienna in December, 1887, he hypnotized 
her by friction of the forehead, and suggested that her 
temperature should fall to 35*5° C. Immediately before the 
operation the temperature was 37° C, and immediately 
after it (at 8 p.m.) it was 37*1°. At 9.30 p.m. it was 36°. 
Next morning at 8 a.m. it registered 35*9°, and at noon it 
was 357°. It remained at this subnormal height until her 
next hystero-epileptic attack. The experiment was re- 
peated on several occasions, and the fact was demon- 
strated that not only could the temperature be lowered 
by hypnotic suggestion, but that its height at a fixed hour 
could be arranged by suggestion. Truly an extraordinary 
phenomenon. Professor Preyer, commenting on it in his 
admirable work, says he can see no way to account for 
the extraordinary changes of temperature except by 
admitting that intense ideo-conception processes in the 
cortex can under certain conditions act upon certain heat 
centres. He is disposed to doubt the continuance of the 
action, and supposes that the application of the thermo- 
meter revived the suggestion each time it was used, and 
that the effect being produced and the instrument with- 
drawn, the temperature would rise to its normal level, and 
would continue at it until a repetition of the operation led 
to a repetition of the suggestion and its realization {op. cit., 
p. y^). It must be remembered that lima Szandor was 
altogether an exceptional subject, and that Beaunis experi- 
mented over a considerable period of time without being 
able in any case to obtain more than a fractional rise. 
The fact, however, that an agent only produces its most 
extreme effects in persons of rare idiosyncrasy does not 
take from the importance of its action, and enables us to 
understand the slighter effects produced on ordinary 

In Binet and Fere's ' Animal Magnetism ' (Kegan Paul, 
Trench and Co., London, 1887), the above and several 


other similar experiments are related ; for instance, how 
Dumontpallier succeeded in raising the local temperature 
several degrees, and how Bourru and Burot wrote his 
name with the blunt end of a probe on both arms of a 
hysterical male patient, suggesting to him, ' This after- 
noon, at four o'clock, you will go to sleep, and blood will 
then exude from your arms in the lines which have been 
traced.' The patient fell asleep at the appointed hour, 
and the letters appeared on his left arm, marked in relief, 
and of a bright red colour, with here and there minute 
drops of blood. But no such sign appeared on the right 
arm, which was paralyzed. 

Charcot (the writers go on to say) and his pupils at the 
Salpetriere have often, by means of suggestion, produced 
the effects of burns upon the skin of hypnotized patients 
(pp. 198, 199). Fere adds that he has demonstrated that 
any part of the body of a hysterical patient may be made 
to change in volume by simple directed attention, thus 
showing what influence may be exerted by a simple 
phenomenon of ideation on the vaso-motor centres. 

Binet and Fere cannot be accused of undue credulity. 
They refuse to accept as proof any phenomenon which 
has not been subjected to the most searching scientific 
tests ; and they are so imbued with the theories of Pro- 
fessor Charcot, that they fail to see the therapeutic 
applicability of hypnotic suggestion, except in hysterical 

I have made a few experiments to test the length of 
time during which a suggestion of sensory illusion con- 
tinues to act, and I have generally found that a night's 
sleep puts an end to it. But this is not always the case, 

and Mrs. S has on several occasions remained under 

the suggested delusion for several days. For instance, I 
once hypnotized her and told her that her favourite cat, a 
tabby, had a black tail, and that it would continue so for 
three days. On awaking, she no sooner saw the animal 
than she described the change which she noticed had 
come over it, and she expressed a fear that it was ill ; 


when at the end of three days it assumed its natural 
colour to her eyes, she expressed her relief at seeing it 
recovered. A gentleman, to whom I have sometimes 
suggested visual hallucinations, sticks to the assertion 
that a colour is what I have told him, but he does so in 
a somewhat shamefaced manner, as one conscious that 
there is something not right about it. So one gets all 
grades of effect, from complete sensory hallucination to 
merely increased credulity. 

The effects of suggestion are not necessarily temporary 
and immediate, but may be caused to appear hours, days, 
and in some cases months, after the suggestion has been 
given. Bernheim cites several instances of this prolonged 
or deferred action, applied to the physical or psychical 
side. Under the physical heading I should place the 
production of such an objective symptom as a blister or 
ecchymosis, and under the psychical a sensory impression, 
such as the appearance of a hallucination at a given 
hour, or the performance of a suggested action after a 
certain interval. For instance, a soldier, a patient of Dr. 
Liebeault, while in a state of hypnotic somnambulism, 
was told that on a certain day in two months' time, at ten 
o'clock a.m., he would come to Dr. Liebeault's consulting- 
room, and would there see the President of the Republic, 
to whom he would make a profound obeisance. The 
President would then advance towards him, would address 
him in complimentary language, and confer upon him a 
decoration, which he himself would fasten to the recipient's 
buttonhole. On the day appointed a considerable audience, 
consisting both of doctors and patients, was assembled 
in the consulting-room, and at ten o'clock precisely the 
soldier appeared. As he entered his expression changed ; 
he regarded the bookcase, and bowed low in its direction. 
He then advanced, bowed to Dr. Liebeault, and stood at 
attention, with a gratified smile on his face, and looking 
downward at his buttonhole. In a few moments he made 
another profound obeisance, muttered some words and 
walked away, much to the astonishment of those present, 


who were ignorant of the meaning of this panto- 

Dr. Beaunis tells a similar story of a young woman 
whom, while she was in a profound hypnotic state, he 
assured that on the following New Year's Day she would 
see him enter her room, and would hear him say, ' Bon 
jour, mademoiselle.' This suggestion was made in July, 
and on the following ist of January the young woman 
wrote to the doctor, saying that she could not understand 
how it was that he had entered her room that morning, 
had greeted her, and then walked out immediately. She 
remarked further that he was dressed in the same clothes 
she had seen him wear in the month of July. At that time 
Dr. Beaunis happened to be in Paris, while the young 
woman was at Nancy. 

Dr. Bramwell has made some interesting experiments 
on the estimation of time by somnambulists (Brain, 
1898). His subject, a young woman, is told in the hypnotic 
state that after a given number of hours or minutes she 
is to perform a certain act. For example, she is to 
address an envelope to Dr. Bramwell at the expiration of 
12,500 minutes from the moment she wakes up. When 
awakened she remembers nothing of the sitting, and goes 
about her usual work, but at the appointed time she 
executes the order, though perhaps it may be in the 
middle of the night, and she has to wake up for it, or she 
may be engaged in some absorbing work. It is a very 
interesting question what causes this response to time 
suggestions. It may be that the ' subconscious self has 
a means of reckoning the moments as they fly. Perhaps 
the ratio of expiration is unconsciously noticed, and gives 
a clue to the passage of time. The conditions of modern 
life tend to suppress many faculties which exist in 
primitive man. The Australian savage can find his way 
through the pathless bush by an instinct which has been 
lost by the white man. There is a story of an imbecile 
youth who could always tell the time within a few seconds, 

* Quoted by Binet and Fere", op. tit., p. 245. 


and I suppose he had the ' time sense ' unusually de- 
veloped, and, having nothing else to do, cultivated it as a 

Deferred suggestions, like nearly all suggestions given 
in the advanced stage of hypnotism, are almost invariably 
followed by amnesia. The subject, when awakened, has 
no recollection whatever of the order received by him, nor 
will it recur to his consciousness until the moment for 
performance has arrived. If he is then questioned as to 
his motives for such an action, he will probably reply that 
he did it upon an unaccountable impulse which he could 
not withstand. In very rare cases indeed there exists for 
some time beforehand an impression that at a certain 
hour a specified act must be done, or a specified word 
spoken. Occasionally, too, the hypnotic subject may 
recognise the impulse as having been dictated to him by 
a past suggestion ; but generally, as I have said, it will be 
regarded as quite spontaneous, and not to be accounted 

Moll, in discussing this point, aptly compares the 
mental state of a subject to whom the execution of a past 
hypnotic suggestion at a certain time has been com- 
manded to that of a person who has been given a letter to 
post, and who puts it in his pocket and forgets it until he 
is reminded of his duty by passing a post-office. He then 
automatically posts the letter, but very likely entirely for- 
gets the action, and may be unable to recall it. 

This illustrates the fact, which cannot be too cogently 
impressed on the reader, that hypnotism does not induce 
a new condition, nor work on perfectly novel lines to the 
extent which is often supposed, but that its effects have 
analogies in nearly all the waking conditions of life, and 
that it acts by intensifying and utilizing mental states 
which are abnormal in degree, but not unnatural in kind. 

Such phenomena throw a strong light on many stories 
of supernatural apparitions, and show how useful hyp- 
notism may prove in the hands of competent observers 
as a key to psychical problems. Here we find an idea 


impressed on the ' unconscious mind,' and lying dormant 
for months, brought into action by the simple efflux of 
time, as certainly as a piece of clockwork can be set to 
run down at a fixed hour. I need hardly add that such 
experiments as the foregoing are successful only in a very 
small proportion of cases, and probably only in ' educated ' 

Fulfilment of a suggestion, the prompting of which has 
either not been consciously heard, or has been instantly 
forgotten, is not without its analogy in ordinary life. We 
must all acknowledge that we occasionally think, speak, 
and act in what seems a motiveless manner, and yet, by 
careful introspection or tracing back, we shall probably 
find that our thought, word or action has its source in 
some forgotten or apparently unnoticed incident, which 
has left its impression upon our brain cells. The brain 
cells, once stimulated, may under certain conditions, as 
in delirium, prompt the utterance of sounds apparently 
forgotten or unrecorded. Thus, we find persons on their 
death-bed, or in fever, speaking a language which they 
had forgotten since childhood ; like an elderly Scotch 
physician, a friend of mine, who for an hour before his 
death talked only in Gaelic, the language of his childhood, 
which he had not spoken for fifty years.* There is a well- 

* Some persons are, as Bernheim points out, ' suggestible ' to an 
extraordinary degree, independently of hypnotism. This, he finds, is 
especially marked in children and in persons affected with phthisis. 
He relates how he has frequently suggested imaginary actions, and 
even crimes, to such subjects, with the result that the ideas have been 
accepted as true, and have become as actual truths to them. This 
increase in the normal suggestibility may perhaps serve to explain the 
extraordinary stories invented by some children. Such untruthfulness 
may not depend upon viciousness, but on excessive imagination, which 
has been set in action by some outside suggestion. Professor Dejerine 
speaking of suggestibility without hypnosis cites the case of two young 
countrymen under his treatment in the hospital. They were both 
fresh from military service when he first saw them, and neither of 
them had ever been hypnotized ; yet he was at once able by simple 
suggestion to evoke in them sensory hallucinations, changes of per- 
sonality, and all the other psychical phenomena which one is accus- 
tomed to associate with the most advanced stages of hypnotism {Rev. 
Je I'Hyfi., Jan., 1891). 

Anaesthesia by suggestion maybe sometimes induced quite indepen- 
dently of hypnotism. For instance, Dr. Robinson, of the Mile End 


known story of a servant-girl, who, in the delirium of 
fever, continually repeated passages from the Greek Testa- 
ment, which her ears had unconsciously taken in years 
before, when she had been in the service of a clergyman. 
And all persons entrusted with the care of lunatics must 
know what unseemly and even vile expressions may, in 
the paroxysms of insanity, be uttered by young, refined 
and virtuous women, whose lives have been carefully 
guarded from evil influences. The vicious word or phrase 
heard by them long ago, perhaps in early childhood, while 
passing along a street, or standing at a window, though 
uncomprehended at the time, and apparently unremem- 
bered, was nevertheless recorded in the brain cells.* 

It will thus be seen that suggestion is an exceedingly 
powerful agent — effective in the hands of the experi- 
mentalist, and efficacious also in those of the physician. 
When we consider that the knowledge of this treatment 
has only become general within the last fifteen years, we 

Infirmary, found that he could induce complete anaesthesia and 
analgesia in a hystero-epileptic girl, who had never been hypnotized, 
by telling her she was to feel nothing. The girl had confidence in 
the physician, and his suggestion was in some way able to produce a 
condition resembling hysterical anaesthesia, probably by inhibition of 
the sensory centres. 

* Dr. Felkin, in his very excellent resume" of the progress of hyp- 
notism, gives an interesting experience of his own with a hypnotized 
subject. She was a woman of fifty, who could not in her waking 
state speak English, yet when hypnotized she began to talk fluently in 
English. It appears that she had known the language as a girl, but 
had entirely forgotten it, and that hypnotism brought back the girlish 
memory (op. tit., p. 50). 

A case reported by the Society for Psychical Research shows the 
extreme importance of very early impressions which may not have 
been registered in ordinary memory, and yet cause after-effects. A 
lady of early middle age was invariably haunted by a certain night- 
mare. This always took the form of being attacked and bitten by 
a great white dog. 

The underlying cause of this dream was afterwards explained by an 
old nurse, who related that she had charge of the lady when an infant 
of about a year old, and left her asleep in a cradle in a room opening 
on to a garden. One day a strange white dog had dashed into the 
room, upset the cradle, and awakened the sleeping infant. No great 
harm had been done, but the impression made on the undeveloped 
cortical cells had never been eradicated. Suggestion, if the patient 
were a good hypnotic subject, would almost certainly remove the 


must acknowledge that its progress, and the number of 
diseases which it affects, are both remarkable. But we 
must also acknowledge that it is no universal remedy, 
warranted to act like magic on all diseases. In some 
cases it is powerless, or comparatively so. It cannot 
restore a joint altered by chronic rheumatism or gout, nor 
put right an internal misplacement, nor can it remove 
cancer or other malignant disease ; neither will it cure 
paralysis agitans, glaucoma, advanced Bright's disease, 
nor diabetes. It cannot materially benefit cases of 
phthisis or organic heart disease, though it may do much 
to relieve the sufferings incidental to all painful affections. 
It has been but little employed in acute illness. I believe 
that most of the Continental practitioners of the system 
use it chiefly at consultations in their own rooms, where, 
of course, sufferers from acute diseases are not likely to 
present themselves. It is frequently used in childbirth 
with beneficial results, and in surgery it is often employed. 
No doubt most susceptible persons might be painlessly 
operated upon while under its influence, but, as a rule, 
the natural agitation of a patient before an operation 
would so distract his attention as to render hypnotism 
impossible, and a course of training would be necessary, 
which would involve much time and trouble ; whereas 
chloroform and other anaesthetics are easily administered, 
and are commonly certain in their effect. Professor 
Bernheim uses suggestion in conjunction with chloroform, 
and finds that his patients take the anaesthetic better, and 
require a much smaller quantity, than when it is admin- 
istered silently in the usual way. This is the experience 
of many chloroform ists. 

Some months ago I hypnotized a woman for a dentist 
instead of giving her gas, and a very bad tooth was pain- 
lessly extracted. The patient not only felt no pain at the 
time, but there was no discomfort afterwards. This 
dentist tells me that he now often uses hypnotism as an 
anaesthetic in his practice, and finds it extremely useful, 
as not only does the patient feel no pain, but he is able to 


assist the operator by holding his mouth open without a 
gag, and spitting when told to. If he finds the patient is 
not hypnotizable, no harm is done, and he gives gas in 
the usual way. 

Suggestion may be usefully employed instead of nar- 
cotics in temporarily relieving acute pain, by inducing 
sleep which will not be followed by the deleterious conse- 
quences of such drugs. It is also used in cases where the 
sleep itself is remedial, as in threatening congestion of the 
brain, delirium tremens, and in insomnia, when this exists 
as an independent condition, and not as a symptom of 

But it is in the so-called ' neuroses ' that suggestion 
obtains its most brilliant successes — in functional epilepsy, 
St. Vitus's dance, asthma, palpitation, nervous headache, 
spinal irritation, neurasthenia, ovarian pain, and the many 
forms of dyspepsia. Nervous disease is, unfortunately, 
ever on the increase, and the study of its symptoms, its 
cure and prevention, must increase to keep pace with it. 
As civilization advances, humanity develops ' nerves,' 
which in this sense may be said to have no existence in 
the savage and barbarous states. The vices and virtues 
of civilization tend alike to increase our sensitiveness. 
Drink, narcotics, the abuse of tobacco, social excitements, 
intellectual culture, the ever-spreading desire to be or do 
something remarkable — these and many other stimulating 
influences are perpetually at work to promote nerve 
disease among us. In large cities especially, where men 
live under artificial conditions and at high pressure, we 
find in all classes of the community affections presenting 
subjective symptoms quite out of proportion to the ob- 
jective signs. It would be interesting to ascertain what 
proportion neurotic affections bear to organic diseases in 
a city doctor's day's work. Probably one half at least. 
Many of us when fresh from the hospital are vexed and 
surprised to find how much of our practice is made up of 
such cases. They are really among the most painful and 
difficult complaints a physician is called upon to treat, 


for they generally indicate a weak and depressed state of 
vitality, in which the slightest suffering is felt with in- 
tensified force. Take the medical nomenclature ending 
in algia : cardialgia, cephalalgia, gastralgia, myalgia, 
neuralgia — what visions of suffering do these words call 
up ! 

Hysteria, and many other neuroses, are popularly sup- 
posed to be essentially the diseases of the rich and idle, 
but Dr. Savill.has shown that a considerable proportion 
of the cases in workhouse infirmaries are of this nature. 
This is what the physiologist would expect. Probably 
nothing is so fruitful a predisposing cause of neurotic ail- 
ments as intemperance in the parents, and the children 
of slum dwellers are sent into the world with such un- 
stable nervous systems that those who manage to survive 
infancy are the special prey of all varieties of neuroses, 
and become the permanent tenants of workhouses and in- 
firmaries. I have not been much impressed by the results 
of hypnotic treatment in a large proportion of these cases, 
and I have attributed its failure to the fact that there is a 
total absence of material to work upon. There is no re- 
serve of nerve energy, as Dr. MacFarlane says of some 
cases of neurasthenia. 

There is one class of cases for which hypnotic treat- 
ment offers particularly good prospects of relief. The 
exhausted brain-worker, whose nervous system is in a 
painful state of erethism, will here find exactly the remedy 
which is physiologically indicated. He is suffering from 
functional derangement of the highest centres, and the 
action of hypnotism on those is their reduction to a con- 
dition of physiological rest. The overwrought and over- 
anxious victim of modern economical and social conditions 
can be soothed and refreshed, by hypnotic suggestion, to 
an extent quite unattainable through drugs or physical 
treatment of any kind. But hypnotization of these sub- 
jects is a process requiring much tact and patience — for 
the condition of the brain is such as to render the neces- 
sary mental quiet and confidence difficult of attainment. 


Perseverance will, however, generally be rewarded by 
success, and success here often means new life to the 

Though such affections often depend upon organic 
disease, they more frequently have their source in nerve 
irritability and functional weakness. How they perplex 
the able practitioner, who feels quite at home with a case 
of scarlet fever or inflammation of the lungs ! Nervous 
diseases generally — hysteria and hypochondriasis in their 
many forms — are spoken of contemptuously by some 
pathologists, who are impatient of subjective symptoms 
which have no apparent objective reason for existence. 
It is natural to ascribe to imagination an ailment for 
which neither friend nor physician can find any compre- 
hensible cause, yet these so-called fanciful ailments may 
be as real as typhus, and entail a thousand times more 
suffering on the patient. Bodily weakness, unaccountable 
pains, depression of spirits, a weight of misery accom- 
panied by the conviction that no power on earth can lift 
it, a sense of being neglected by friends, or of being to 
them a weariness and trouble — all these sufferings of mind 
and body are real enough and hard to bear, whatever their 
original cause may have been. 

I have recently (1899) seen a case of this kind. The 
patient is a professional man aged thirty-seven. He had 
separated from his wife from incompatibility of temper, 
and had lost nearly all his money. He got attacks of rage 
almost amounting to mania on the least contradiction or 
provocation, and at other times was intensely depressed, 
and often suicidal. It did not seem a very hopeful case, 
as suggestion could not bring back his money, nor render 
him and his wife suitable partners. But I tried it, and it 
succeeded in making him take a philosophical view of the 
situation. He now leads a rational life, works hard, and 
succeeds in forgetting his troubles. There is no doubt 
but that hypnotism has saved this gentleman from mad- 
ness or suicide. 

A somewhat similar case came under treatment about 


the same time. This patient is an accountant who had 
broken down from overwork and business worry. He 
had been a good deal to blame, and was tortured by 
exaggerated remorse. He had been sent a voyage round 
the world, but caelum, non animnm, mutant, qui trans mare 
cur runt, as the Latin grammar tells us, and he returned no 
better. Resumption of work was followed by a very bad 
nervous breakdown, and he was induced to try hypnotism. 
Though but slightly susceptible, suggestion soon told 
upon him. He has lost his morbid fancies, regained his 
power of work, and has been actively engaged in his 
business ever since. Loss of sleep is the first symptom of 
breakdown in these cases, and it is one of the first to be 
corrected by suggestion. 

There is no doubt that these troubles are sometimes 
brought about by the patient's own fault. They may spring 
in the first instance from indulgence in bad habits, from 
idleness, from a tendency to foster and dwell upon morbid 
ideas ; in short, they frequently are diseases caused by the 
imagination, which is quite a distinct thing from imaginary 
diseases. Indeed, there is no imaginary disease ; he who 
persistently imagines a disease in himself has one, though 
possibly not the one he imagines. For the imagination 
which can furnish its owner with a bodily disease is itself 
not in a state of health. Who with healthy, well-balanced 
mental powers could or would bring upon himself a sick- 
ness by auto-suggestion ? ' No one can be a hypochon- 
driac at pleasure,' aptly says Lavegne. 

' When one of these hypochondriacs,' writes Binet and 
Fere, ' whom we are apt to call malades imaginaires, comes 
to seek the help of medicine, complaining of subjective 
pains and uneasiness, what do we often reply? "It is 
nothing ; it is merely fancy ; try not to think about it ;" 
and he is sent away with some anodyne or simple remedy. 
This invalid, who has suggested to himself his disease, 
and who really suffers from it, becomes convinced that it 
is not understood, and that nothing can be done for him. 
The more he trusts his physician, the deeper is this con- 


viction ; and he who came with merely a trifling com- 
plaint may go away with one which is practically in- 

The disease induced by morbid auto-suggestion may be 
controlled and cured by healthy suggestion from without, 
given when the brain is in a state peculiarly receptive of 
outer influence. The mind of a nervous, hysterical, hypo- 
chondriacal person is usually shut against all outward 
influence, except such as corresponds with and feeds its 
morbid state. The patient when awake rejects cheerful 
and hopeful suggestions almost as if they were insults, 
but in the hypnotic sleep, his morbid self-influence being 
temporarily in abeyance, his mind will admit and act 
upon suggestions of bodily and consequent mental cure. 

Dr. Russell Sturges, of Boston, U.S.A., has reported 
an interesting series of cases which he has treated by 
hypnotic suggestion, and a somewhat singular part of his 
work is that he has gained success without putting his 
patient into the deeper stages of hypnosis. On the con- 
trary, he contends that deep hypnosis is unnecessary, and 
sometimes even harmful. I confess such is not my experi- 
ence, and that when I am asked if I can remove a morbid 
idea, I reply that it depends upon the patient's suscepti- 
bility to hypnotism. But, as Professor Pitres of Bordeaux 
points out, some people are more suggestible when awake 
than others when profoundly hypnotized. 

Dr. Sturges, for instance, cites the case of a young lady 
who was a chronic invalid, and suffered greatly from 
internal neuralgia. There appeared to be no objective 
disease, but inquiry revealed that her ill-health dated 
from a mental shock she had sustained by an accident to 
her brother, brought on, she thought, through her fault. 
It appears she had urged her brother to ride a restive 
horse in spite of his protests. The horse threw him, and 
he broke his arm. Though he recovered, and was none 
the worse for the accident, anxiety and remorse so preyed 
on her mind that she became an invalid. 

Dr. Sturges induced a slight state of hypnosis, and 



suggested to her the correction of the morbid idea. The 
girl's friends had frequently argued the subject with her 
without effect, but three or four treatments by hypnotic 
suggestion brought about a right frame of mind and a 
corresponding cure of the bodily troubles. 

Another case is that of a lady who quarrelled with her 
father immediately before his sudden death. She accused 
herself of being accessory to it, and fell into a state of 
chronic melancholia. Dr. Sturges succeeded in getting 
rid of the exaggerated idea, and restoring her to happiness 
and health.* 

Professor Gibert of Havre reports an even more striking 
case of a young woman who was brought into the hospital 
suffering from paraplegia and profound disturbance of 
the digestive and generative functions. She had been 
hypnotized, and was a good subject, but the result had 
been disappointing. Investigation into the history of the 
case showed that the girl had sustained three great shocks 
in her life : the first when, at the age of seven, she had 
been forced to occupy the same bed as a child with a bad 
skin disease ; the second just at the age of puberty, when 
she was put into an icy cold bath ; and the third when 
she was terrified by seeing a woman killed by falling from 
a window. It was after the third shock that the paralysis 
developed, but it found her weakly and hysterical. Dr. 
Gibert threw her into a state of profound somnambulism, 
and then gradually worked at removing the domination of 
the morbid ideas. He gave a less serious turn to the 
events which had so influenced her life, and got her to 
look back upon them without terror. The result was 
complete cure in a few sittings. 

One of my early hypnotic cases was that of a lady who 
had nursed a relative in his last illness. It was a very 
trying time for her, as he allowed no one else to attend 
him. One of her duties was to play to him, and in this 
he took great delight. Shortly before his death, in a 

* ' The Use of Hypnotism to the First Degree as a Means of modify- 
ing or completely eliminating a Fixed Idea,' Boston, 1894. 


paroxysm of jealousy he made her promise that she 
would never touch the piano after his death, assuring her 
that if she broke her word he would appear to punish her. 

The peculiarly distressing circumstances produced an 
attack of nervous prostration, and when this passed away 
it left her with spasmodic asthma, which was new to her, 
choreiform movements of the head, night terrors, and 
intense nervousness, so that she was unable to travel or 
to face crowds. But the thing which most distressed her 
was her inability to listen to music, which had been the 
passion of her life, and she could hardly look at a piano 
without a nervous paroxysm. 

I hypnotized her, and she passed readily into a con- 
dition of profound somnambulism. Then I suggested the 
disappearance of the morbid ideas, and with them of the 
nervous symptoms. Gradually the suggestions worked, 
and finally I got her with much difficulty to play on the 
piano while hypnotized. She left me cured of her asthma 
and spasmodic movements, and with her nervous system 
so strengthened that she could ride and drive again and 
go into society. She was able to listen to music, but 
showed a great disinclination to play herself. A little 
more treatment would probably have completely cured all 
the symptoms, but she had to go abroad, and I lost sight 
of her. 

In these cases correct diagnosis and judicious treatment 
are the essentials of success. One has to unravel, as it 
were, a tangled skein, and rough treatment would probably 
aggravate the trouble. One knows that diseased con- 
ditions caused by shock are sometimes cured by another 
shock, as in cases cited on pp. 11, 12; but the gentler 
method of induced hypnosis and applied suggestion is at 
once more pleasant and more likely to succeed. I think 
it will be found that a much larger amount of chronic 
illness is due to shock than is generally recognised, and I 
know of no higher duty of the physician than the curing 
of such cases. The study of hypnotism and the curious 
features it brings to one's notice often gives a new interest 



to ordinary practice, and throws a new light on the 
causation of an illness. 

A recent case presents many points of interest. The 
patient was a weaver from the North, and he was sent to 
me by his clergyman. The poor man was unable to do 
his work, and suffered from sleeplessness, restlessness, 
mental depression, want of appetite, and other symptoms 
of neurasthenia. His illness dated from a year previous, 
when his son had nearly died from rheumatic fever. 
Quite unjustly he accused himself of being the cause of 
the illness, and nothing seemed to be able to get this 
haunting idea out of his mind. He proved a good hypnotic 
subject, and I sent him back in a fortnight quite well. 

The suggestive system has been extensively taken up 
by foreign lunacy and mental physicians. Among these 
are Drs. Semal, of the asylum at Mons ; Mabille, chief 
physician of the asylum at Lafond ; Burckhardt, of the 
asylum at Prefargier (Switzerland). These specialists 
and others frequently report cases of amelioration and 
cure, through the use of suggestion, in the Revue de 

The insane are not easily influenced by hypnotism ; all 
who have anything to do with them know how difficult it 
is to get them to fix their attention on anything except 
their delusion ; but once an influence is gained over them, 
suggestion may prove most useful. 

Dr. Woods, Superintendent of Hoxton House Asylum, 
London, is the chief worker in this field in England, and 
in an important paper contributed to the Journal of 
Mental Science* he describes several cases of melancholia, 
delusional insanity and acute mania which he has bene- 
fited by hypnotic treatment. 

That borderland of insanity occupied by dipsomania, 
the opium habit, and the excessive abuse of tobacco and 
other narcotics, offers an extensive field of usefulness to 
suggestive treatment. Professor Forel, of Zurich, in his 
address at the Congress of Neurologists, held at Zurich 

* April, 1897. 


in 1S88, gave it as his opinion that in those cases sugges- 
tion is a very beneficial, and often a very powerful, agent, 
frequently enabling the drunkard to take that first step, 
which is always so difficult, towards reformation and cure. 
He cited also several cases in which he had succeeded by 
its means in curing patients of the opium habit in from 
eight to twelve days, and that without the acute mental 
suffering which is commonly felt when an enslaving habit 
is quickly broken off. Drs. Van Renterghem and Van 
Eeden (of Amsterdam) likewise tell me that they have 
had great success in overcoming these moral diseases. At 
Nancy I had the opportunity of seeing man)' such cases 
in process of cure. One man came to Dr. Liebeault com- 
pletely shattered by indulgence in tobacco, which he both 
smoked and chewed. He was a railway porter, a big, 
strongly-built fellow, but he was weak and shaky through 
his excesses. His digestion was faulty, his tongue thickly 
furred, and he had no appetite. His pulse was slow and 
intermittent, he felt giddiness on movement, and his 
sight frequently vanished through incipient amaurosis. 
Persons whose nervous systems are broken down in this 
way are very easily hypnotized, and Dr. Liebeault soon 
had this man in a state of profound sleep. He then told 
him that he was to give up smoking, that a pipe was to 
be to him an object of loathing, and a quid of tobacco 
even more offensive ; also that, if he did indulge in one 
or the other, pain and sickness would be the result, so 
that he must not even feel a desire for the indulgence. 
The patient came daily for several mornings, and daily 
showed an increasing improvement, till in a week he was 
completely cured of the symptoms of nicotine-poisoning. 
He would, of course, have been cured by voluntary ab- 
stention from tobacco, but I doubt if the beneficial effect 
would have been so rapid ; and no one seeing the man 
would have credited him with the moral courage and 
determination necessary for breaking off a long-cherished 
habit. It is told of the younger Dumas that he was 
formerly an inveterate smoker, and on one occasion, feel- 


ing out of health, went to consult his doctor with the 
usual cigar in his mouth. The physician, one in whom 
Dumas had entire confidence, having heard his symptoms, 
told him plainly that smoking was destruction for him, 
whereupon the great writer immediately flung away his 
cigar, declaring that he would never smoke another — and 
he has kept his word. But how many are gifted with 
such resolution ?* 

There are many cases on record where this abandon- 
ment of a cherished habit has been accomplished without 
hypnotism. A man who has caused the death of one 
dear to him in some drunken brawl is very likely, if he has 
any good in him, to conceive a horror and dislike for in- 
toxicants, and to become a reformed character. 

In many cases the good is thus so overshadowed and 
hidden by the evil that its presence is overlooked. 
Hypnotism, at any rate, enables us, under favourable 
conditions, to suppress the evil and thus give the good a 
chance of showing itself, and it is possible that it may 
even enable us to create good qualities in course of time. 

In the Revue de VHypnotisme, 1886-1887, some papers 
appear by Dr. Voisin, of the Salpetriere, showing the 
efficacy of suggestion in the treatment of moral obliquity ; 
and at the Congress of the French Association for the 
Advancement of Science, held at Nancy in 1886, papers 
dealing with this subject were read by several physicians 
of eminence. Dr. Voisin gives instances of female 
prisoners, formerly considered incorrigible, who, after a 
course of suggestive treatment (combined with the re- 

* A near relation of my own has recently been undergoing hypnotic 
treatment at Nancy, for the cure of the tobacco habit, and his experi- 
ence is interesting. After being a great smoker for years, he formed 
the resolution of giving up the weed, as he found that it was causing 
nervousness and palpitation. Dr. Liebeault never induced in him 
more than a slight drowsiness, with inability to open the eyes, and yet 
the effect of suggestion was immediate and remarkable. Tobacco 
almost at once became distasteful to him, and he has never felt the 
least inclination to resume the habit. Probably in this case the 
patient would have been able to reform himself unaided : but Dr. 
Liebeault saved him from a good deal of suffering, and very likely 
from some relapses. 


ligious and moral instruction, which alone had unfortu- 
nately proved ineffectual), became modest, cleanly, and 
industrious. Some of these reformed women have been 
placed in situations of trust, which they hold satisfactorily. 

Many such cures are thoroughly authenticated, and 
the number of recorded cases is being rapidly augmented. 
In a most interesting article by Mr. F. W. H. Myers,* 
Dr. E. Dufour, the chief physician of the Saint- Robert 
Asylum (Isere), is quoted as follows : ' From this time our 
opinion is settled, and we have no fear of being deceived 
when we affirm that hypnotism can render service in the 
treatment of mental disease.' ' In common with most 
inquirers, Dr. Dufour finds only a small proportion of 
lunatics hypnotizable,' says Mr. Myers, ' but the effect 
produced on these is uniformly good. His best subject 
is a depraved young man, who, after many convictions for 
crimes, including attempted murder, became insane.' Dr. 
Dufour assures us that this difficult subject has become a 
reformed character through the influence of hypnotism. 

Professor Forel, Medical Superintendent of the Can- 
tonal Asylum at Zurich, t gives a case of reformation in 
a confirmed drunkard, seventy years of age, who, after 
twice attempting suicide, was placed under his care. He 
spent nine years in the asylum, during which he gave an 
infinite amount of trouble, drinking himself into a state of 
insanity whenever an opportunity offered, and inciting the 
other patients to rebellion. 

In 1887 Forel hypnotized this apparently incorrigible 
subject, and treated him by suggestion. He proved sus- 
ceptible, and after a few sittings became an utterly 
changed character. He proved his reformation by volun- 
tarily giving up the small quantity of wine which had 
been allowed him, and joining the Temperance Society, 
which hitherto he had vilified and opposed. It was now 
safe to allow him full liberty, as the formerly attractive 

* ' Multiplex Personality :' Proceedings of the Society of Psychical 
Research, vol. iv., 1886-87. 
t Op. cit. 


wine-shops were no longer any temptation to him. Dr. 
Forel adds, that during the last nine months he has been 
occasionally hypnotized for purposes of demonstration, 
but requires no furthur anti-alcoholic suggestion. 

It is interesting to consider in this connection how far 
it is possible to modify inherited or acquired habits by 

It is certain that suggestion has a twenty-fold greater 
influence in the hypnotic than in the waking state, and it 
is probable that many criminal and weak persons might 
be reformed by its continued employment. They would 
be educated or re-educated. 

But I believe that the environment must at the same 
time be suitable, and that had Dr. Forel's patient been 
able to mix with his evil associates after each hypnotiza- 
tion, the good would have been checked in the bud by the 
excess of evil. 

It is supposed that hypnotic suggestion causes inhibi- 
tion, of psychical origin, of nerve tracts, and it is possible 
that it enables new nervous arrangements and combina- 
tions to be formed by directing nerve energy into new or 
little-used channels. 

Association of ideas plays a very important part in 
all our sentiments and actions, and this association is 
certainly strengthened by hypnotism. This explains the 
success of the treatment in many cases of drunkenness. 
A good plan in these cases is to suggest dislike for 
alcohol, and even vomiting at the taste of it. If the 
patient is then made to swallow a small quantity and 
sickness follows, and he is told, while in the hypnotic 
state, that such will be the invariable consequence of 
indulgence, we shall have established a train of very dis- 
agreeable associations which will for a long time, and 
perhaps always, be connected with the first step in alco- 
holic indulgence. It may be objected that the association 
of a drunkard's ideas with alcoholism cannot naturally 
be pleasant, as excess is always followed by illness. But 
ordinarily sickness and disgust come after excess, while 


hypnotism causes them to precede it. We frequently see 
the action of association of ideas where hypnotism is not 
in question at all. For instance, I know a lady to whom 
the taste of strawberry jam is most disagreeable and 
nauseating, because, as a child, on two or three occasions 
evil-tasting powders were given to her disguised in it. 

The same lady tells me that the sight of a bottle from 
which she had been dosed with castor-oil used to arouse 
a feeling of nausea long after she had been emancipated 
from such compulsory medication. But similar instances 
are so common that they must occur to the mind of 

Alcoholic intoxication is sometimes accompanied by 
distinct double personality, but this is rarely so well 
marked as in the case of a farmer referred to by Professor 
Ball. This man was a dipsomaniac, and frequently got 
drunk while attending the markets. In this state, how- 
ever, he continued to transact business, and apparently 
with considerable judgment and ability. But on be- 
coming sober he would be quite unconscious of what had 
taken place, and his business suffered severely in conse- 
quence. He hit upon the idea of keeping a note-book for 
use during his drunken state, and he found that by doing 
so he was able to preserve a written record of his opera- 
tions, which supplied the hiatus in his memory (' Maladies 
Mentales,' p. 79). Oblivion of actions committed in a 
state of drunkenness is, of course, common enough, and 
there are plenty of cases on record where men have been 
hanged for murders of which those unhappy criminals 
had preserved no recollection. By special stimulation of 
the brain cells, alcohol may arouse the phlegmatic and 
dull-minded man to temporary brilliancy, and so induce 
what appears to be a change of character ; but this 
change is generally more apparent than real. Alcohol, 
as a rule, does not change character, but emphasizes its 
features, though it sometimes effects very complete 
changes in a man's conduct. The penurious may become 
lavish, and the morose man may assume an air of jollity. 


Here probably the alcohol acts by removing those inhibi- 
tory processes which are the result of education, and so 
allowing the natural characteristics free play. Hypnotic 
suggestion does not enable us to create force, but only to 
transform it, nor to create characteristics, but merely to 
modify them. I cannot think that hypnotism would make 
a naturally morose man permanently amiable, or a violent- 
tempered man quiet and gentle. But if the natural 
temperament has been altered by circumstances, or has not 
been allowed to develop, I see no reason why hypnotism 
should not bring out what is latent and suppress the 
acquired traits, and this applies especially in the case of 

In such examples one would say that there are two 
separate entities dwelling within a single bodily form, 
and that one of these can be brought out and developed, 
while the other is so absolutely suppressed as to appear 
non-existent. To some extent this is indeed the case with 
everybody. The best of us can feel a suppressed evil 
self struggling at times to get the upper hand ; the worst 
are dimly conscious of some crushed-down better self 
striving within them — however rarely and feebly. It is 

* The following extract from a letter recently received from an 
American lady is, I think, instructive in this connection. The writer, 
Dr. M. Goldson, of Oakland, California, came to London to attend 
the post-graduate lectures, and I gave her some instruction in hypno- 
tism, which she is now turning to account in her practice : ' I have 

recently hypnotized a lady, Mrs. R , who has been lately married. 

Her happiness was greatly marred by the conduct of her husband, 
who took the greatest delight in teasing her ; the more she showed 
her annoyance, the worse he became. She took this so much to 
heart that she became profoundly depressed, and was continually in 
tears when alone I hypnotized her, and suggested that she should 
no longer feel grieved or annoyed at his conduct, but should enter 
into his jokes with amusement, and should enjoy his merriment and 
be completely happy. The treatment was entirely successful, and 

after the fifth sitting Mrs. R reported that a complete change had 

come over her life, and that her husband was astonished to find that 
she no longer resented his jokes at her expense, but seemed rather 
to enjoy them.' It seems to me quite likely that if Mrs. Goldson had 

quietly talked to Mrs. R and given her sensible advice, the desired 

result might have been obtained ; but no doubt hypnotism, by in- 
creasing the patient's mental receptivity, greatly aided the action of 


in a weakened or diseased brain condition that this 
psychological fact becomes startlingly manifest. Dr. W. 
Ireland* gives the case of a young man of good character, 
who, after an epileptic seizure, took possession of a 
carriage which he found in the street, drove to his father's 
grave a mile and a half away, gathered some flowers 
which 'grew there, and took them home to his mother. 
She was naturally alarmed at his conduct, and bade him 
take the carriage back to its owner ; but instead of doing 
this he left it at a livery-stable in his own name. When 
he recovered his normal state of health it was found that 
he had no recollection whatever of this circumstance. On 
another occasion, again after an attack, he engaged him- 
self as a sailor, but was soon found by his shipmates to 
be utterly ignorant of seamanship, and extremely strange 
and flighty in manner. In a short time he recovered his 
usual consciousness, and was amazed to find himself on 
board ship and far from land, for he had quite forgotten 
the series of events which had led him there. It would 
be interesting to see what view a judge would take of the 
legal responsibility incurred in such a case. 

But far more remarkable are the cases of Louis V 

and Felida X . The former is well described by Mr. 

F. W. H. Myerst (op. cit.). Louis V was born in 1863 ; 

his mother was a woman of ill-character, and, as a natural 
consequence, he fell early into evil ways. At the age of 
ten he was sent to a reformatory, where he showed him- 
self docile and obedient. Four years later he was fright- 
ened by a viper, and this fright brought about a series of 
convulsions and hysterical attacks, which left him with 
hysterical paralysis of the lower limbs. He became worse, 
and in 1880 was sent to the asylum at Bonneval, suffering 
from periodical epileptiform fits, and from paraplegia. 
He was now a quiet, well-mannered boy of seventeen, 
and the change in him for the worse was as yet merely 

* 'The Dual Function of the Double Brain.' 

t Fully described in medical detail by Dr. A. T. Myers in Journal 
of Mental Science, 1886. 


physical. He had, indeed, forgotten how to read and 
write, but this was probably to be accounted for by want 
of practice, for he distinctly remembered his life before 
entering the reformatory, and was deeply ashamed of it. 
He was employed at tailoring for two months ; then he 
had a severe attack of hystero-epilepsy, after which he 
slept for several hours. He awoke from his sleep entirely 
free from paralysis, and got up, intending to work in the 
fields, as he had been used to do at the reformatory, 
where he now believed himself to be. He walked with 
comparative ease, though somewhat uncertainly, a con- 
sequence of muscular atrophy from disease of the limbs. 
He recognised no one about him, and had entirely gone 
back to the time before his fright. His disposition was 
completely changed. From being quiet and tractable, 
he had become quite the reverse, and he was found out 
in a theft. In 1881 he escaped from Bonneval, and after 
a few years, which he spent partly in drifting about from 
hospital to prison, partly as a private of marines, he was 
sent to the asylum of Rochefort, having been convicted 
of a theft, but judged to be of unsound mind. Here he 
came under the care of Drs. Bourru and Burot, who care- 
fully observed his case, as Dr. Camuset at Bonneval and 
Dr. Jules Voisin at Bicetre had already done. 

At Rochefort he developed hemiplegia of the right side, 
with consequent indistinctness and difficulty of speech, 
notwithstanding which he was extremely impudent and 
abusive, and ready to expound his theories, which were 
all adverse to established authority. He could now re- 
member only detached vicious periods of his past life. 
Contact with metals (metallo-therapy) was tried upon 
him : silver, lead, zinc, and copper had little or no effect, 
but when a bar of steel was laid upon his paralyzed arm, 
the hemiplegia shifted from the right side to the left, 
which became insensible. Such a physical change is not 
uncommon, but the coincident mental change was un- 
expected and startling. Louis V had become another 

creature. The insolent and unmanageable patient was 


now gentle, modest, and respectful. His speech was once 
more distinct, but he now declined to give any opinion 
on important matters, declaring himself unable to judge 
of them wisely. His experiences as a marine were abso- 
lutely forgotten, and he remembered only the more 
reputable epochs of his life. 

These two contrary conditions, evil and good, were by 
his physicians called his first and second states, and from 
them several intermediate and varying states could be 
produced. His ' fifth state ' was especially curious. By 
being placed in an electric bath, or having a magnet 
applied to his head, he could for a time be wholly cured 
of paralysis. He became light and active as a healthy 
child, and on questioning him it was found that he had 
indeed gone back to childhood. He was again at the 
reformatory, and all his life after his fright from the 
viper was an utter blank. But let him be in any way 
reminded of that circumstance, and he fell at once into 
an epileptiform condition, which left him in his ' first ' or 
' second ' state. 

Louis V is now no longer at Rochefort, and, ac- 
cording to the last account of him, his health and psychi- 
cal status are both much improved. 

The physicians who have had charge of this extra- 
ordinary case agree in supposing that the various observed 
changes point to a dual action of the brain, and the un- 
stable preponderance of one hemisphere. The imperfect 
speech, and violent, insolent conduct associated with the 
right hemiplegia, in contrast with the clear speech and 
self-controlled demeanour which accompanied the left 
hemiplegia, show the contrasting tendencies (in this 
case) of the supremacy of the right and left hemispheres 

Such marked effects of brain duality seldom appear 
spontaneously, except among the insane, idiots, and 
sufferers from brain disease or delirium. Dr. Ireland 
gives a case of double personality, which he has witnessed 
in an idiot boy named Finlay. This lad would talk to 


himself, and argue as if two persons were discussing a 
question. Sometimes he would thrash himself, saying, 
' Finlay is a bad boy to-day,' and then would cry oat 
with pain in his own personality. In some cases, where 
insanity follows upon injury or disease of one-half of the 
brain, the patient is conscious of the struggle for mastery 
which is being carried on within him. The organism 
which remains sound controls the insane impulses of that 
portion which is damaged, until at last it becomes tired 
out, and partakes of the common intellectual ruin. 

A most remarkable case of double personality is that 

of Felida X , which is fully described by Dr. Azam,* 

Professor in the University of Bordeaux. Felida was 
born in 1843, of respectable parents. From childhood 
she showed a melancholy and reserved disposition. She 
was subject to hemoptysis, and dwelt continually on her 
bad health. At the age of fourteen and a half her first 
transformation occurred. After a sudden pain in her 
head, she fell into a short trance, from which she awoke 
completely metamorphosed. She was now bright and 
lively, very loquacious, and even noisy. Her health 
seemed improved, and she did not complain of any 
ailment. But after a few hours she again fell into a 
trance, and awoke to find herself in her first or normal 
state. Henceforth she passed her life alternately in one 
or the other of those two conditions. For some time 
the ' second state ' did not occupy more than a tenth part 
of her existence, but by 1875 the relative duration of the 
two states, which had been changing by degrees, had 
become reversed, so that she was nearly always in the 
second state. In this latter condition her memory of 
the past is complete, but in her first state all that has 
occurred in her second is utterly forgotten. Hence have 
ensued some curious complications ; for instance, while 
in her second state she showed a very decided preference 

* ' Hypnotisme, Double Conscience,' etc., Paris, 1887. One of the 
most interesting histories ever written, Professor Azam being a master 
of stvle as well as a scientific observer of the first rank. 


for a young man, whom in her first she completely ignored. 
On one occasion she was attending the funeral of a friend, 
and while returning home in the carriage she had an 
access of trance, which lasted only a few minutes, and 
aroused no remark. She awoke in her first state, without 
any recollection of why she was in the carriage, or whose 
funeral she had been following. By questioning, how- 
ever, she managed to set herself right without betraying 
her change of personality. In due time Felida married 
and became the mother of several children, but the 
alternation of personality went on as before, and assuredly 
she could have no secrets from her husband, as in her 
second state she revealed everything she had done in her 
first, even though she had intended to keep it secret. 

Both Louis V and Felida X proved excellent 

subjects for hypnotism, and in the case of the former 
hypnotism produced the same alternation of personality 
as did metallo-therapy. In this case it seems fair to 
attribute to its use by Drs. Bourru and Burot some of the 
credit of his recovery and reformation. 

In the cases of Louis V and Felida X hypnotism 

seemed to produce still another phase of personality, but 
Dr. Richard Hodgson describes a very interesting case of 
double personality in which hypnotism evoked the ' second 
state.' The subject was an itinerant preacher, named 
Ansel Bowne, sixty-one years of age, who one morning 
disappeared mysteriously from his home, and in spite of 
the efforts of his friends remained undiscovered for two 
months. He woke up one morning at Xorristown, 
Pennsylvania, to find that he was keeping a small general 
shop under the name of A. J. Brown. He had been 
engaged in this occupation for six weeks, and had ap- 
peared to his neighbours as a perfectly normal individual. 
As a matter of fact he had been in a state of somnam- 
bulism all the time, and he knew nothing on awaking of 
what had befallen him since he had fallen into a trance 
whilst walking in the streets of the town where he had 
been living. Professor James and Dr. Hodgson hyp- 


notized him, and in the hypnotic state he resumed the 
personality of A. J. Brown, and told his audience what he 
had been doing during his residence at Norristown and 
how he got there.* 

I have recently (1899) met with a curious case of double 
personality. The patient is a bank clerk, aged forty, with 
a record of over twenty years' satisfactory service. He 
left the bank one Friday after luncheon, and did not 
return until the following Monday, when he found he had 
been suspended for absence without leave. He could give 
no explanation of his conduct beyond that he had found 
himself late on Saturday night in a strange hotel at South- 
ampton. How he got there he didn't know, but he found 
in his pocket some postal orders issued at Guildford, so 
he concluded he had visited that town. I hypnotized 
him, and he at once became somnambulic. He replied 
to questions, and gradually gave us a complete history of 
his doings from the time he left the bank until he ' came 
to himself at Southampton. He had gone first to call on 
a friend in the West End, and then on another friend in 
the suburbs. He had spent Friday night in a temperance 
hotel, and had gone to the station in the morning and 
taken the first train which happened to be going to 
Guildford. There he alighted and had breakfast. The 
previous day he had changed a cheque, so he had ten 
pounds in gold in his purse. This he found heavy, so he 
exchanged the sovereigns for postal orders. Then he felt 
he should like some sea-air, and took the train to South- 
ampton, where he formed the plan of taking a coasting 
steamer to Dublin, a trip he had formerly made with 
enjoyment. He strolled about Southampton, behaving 
much as an ordinary visitor, and engaged a room at a 
hotel. At this hotel he suddenly ' came to himself,' and 
was astonished to find himself in a strange place. He 
was just in time to catch the last train to London, where 
he stayed the night, and thence returned to his anxious 
family in the country the following morning. His friends 

* Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, July, 1891. 


were naturally somewhat sceptical, and it was perhaps 
fortunate for him that some of them had heard of double 

By hypnotism one was able to tap, as it were, the sub- 
merged level of consciousness which had prevailed during 
the thirty-two hours' alteration of personality. It was a 
period of some excitement whilst we extracted from him 
sentence by sentence the way he had spent his time, and 
the question occurred as to what duty would demand if it 
turned out to be a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and 
our patient confessed while hypnotized to having com- 
mitted an atrocious crime. But the second personality 
of a middle-aged bank clerk could hardly be expected to 
soar to any very great height, or to descend to any great 
depth, and so it proved. But there did seem to exist in 
the second personality a peculiar absence of forethought 
and responsibility, and a tendency to act on the impulse 
of the moment, so that no definite plans were formed, and 
there was no compunction felt at the inconvenience caused 
in the bank or the panic felt at his home. 

I have seen two other cases of double personality 
during the last few years, and the British Medical Journal 
has recently reported a series of cases by Dr. Hyslop.* 
Such cases are probably more common than was formerly 
supposed, and now that they are becoming more under- 
stood, such patients will be less averse to telling their 
experiences. They involve a problem of extraordinary 
psychical interest : our individuality depends upon a con- 
tinuity of memory and consistency of action, and the up- 
setting of these conditions introduces an embarrassing 
break in the chain of cause and effect. 

Some of the French experimenters have in the hypnotic 
state made middle-aged people feel again the sentiments 
of their childhood, and write, talk and behave as the)- did 
when children of six or seven. Miss Goodrich Freer in 

* On 'Double Consciousness,' by T. B. Hyslop, M.D., Medical 
Superintendent of Bethlehem Royal Hospital, etc., British Medical 
Journal, September 23, 1899. 



her experiments has shown how she reproduces forgotten 
memories by crystal-gazing, and Dr. Morton Prince has 
recently published his experiments in the same field with 
a highly sensitive, hysterical young lad)'. In this patient 
he was able to induce a second and a third personality by 
hypnotism very different to her ordinary self. Normally 
Miss X , as he calls her, is reserved, morbidly consci- 
entious, self-contained, serious, deferential and shy. In 

her second state (X 2) she is sad, serious, and gives 

the impression of weariness and suffering. X 3 is 

flippant, jovial, free from all physical infirmities, full of 
fun, reckless, and contemptuous of the normal self, 

X 1, whom she stigmatizes as silly, stupid and dull, 

and of whom she makes great fun. Nothing seems to 
amuse her more than the recital of the woes and worries 
ofX 1. 

For instance, Miss X one morning came to Dr. 

Prince in a very disturbed state of mind. She had lost 
the money she had set aside for her stay in Boston, and 
was almost penniless. She was put into the profound 
state of hypnosis, wherein she developed the personality 

of X 3, and then described how stupid X 1 had 

felt nervous about her money the night before, and had 
got up from her bed and hidden it under the table-cloth, 

and X 3 seemed greatly amused at the embarrassment 

caused by this loss of money. Dr. Prince awoke her, and, 
without telling her anything, asked her to look in a crystal. 
She did so, and described the scene which presented 
itself: she saw herself in bed in her room; then she saw 
herself get up, her eyes being closed, and walk up and 
down the room, go up to the bureau, take the money from 
the drawer, and hide it under the table-cloth. This 
proved to be the correct explanation of the loss, which 
was thus put right. 

To show the conflict of personality : on one occasion as 
X 3 she tore up and threw away a bundle of bank- 
notes so as to annoy and embarrass X 1. In her 

normal state she knew nothing of this, and thought 


she had been robbed. Dr. Prince hypnotized her, and 

brought back the personality of X 3, who confessed 

the deed with malignant satisfaction the next morn- 

I don't know the end of this case. Probably Dr. Prince 
cured her of the ailments she consulted him for, and by 
suggestion suppressed the somewhat inconvenient person- 
ality of X 3. 

I once cured in one sitting a nurse of spontaneous 
somnambulism, to which she had been subject all her life. 
The curative aim of the physician is occasionally in con- 
flict with the claims of the psychical researcher, and one 
sometimes feels it a duty in the interest of the patient to 
put a stop to interesting developments. 

I do not mean to imply that ' seers ' are always 
hysterical and in poor health ; on the contrary, Miss 
Freer, who has been already referred to, is a lady of great 
talent and practical achievements in many directions ; and 
I understand from Professor James and Dr. Hodgson 
that the well-known Mrs. Piper, whose case they have 
investigated with such care, is a healthy woman, and 
appears to be benefited by carefully-conducted psychical 
experiments. But rash and ignorant experimentation on 
such subjects is strongly to be deprecated. 

These cases throw some light on much which goes by 
the name of clairvoyance and occultism, and it is, I think, 
a healthy sign that a physician of Dr. Morton Prince's 
position should be ready to investigate such phenomena.* 

Mr. Myers' theory is that both by hypnotism and 
crystal-gazing one taps the ' subliminal consciousness,' 
and thus gets into touch with a far wider field of ex- 
perience than our everyday consciousness supplies. 

I have called the first state of Felida X ' normal,' 

but should it be thus called merely because it happened 
to be the first ? It is incomparably inferior to her second 

* 'An Experimental Study of Visions,' by Morton Prince, M.D., 
Physician for Diseases of the Nervous System, Boston City Hospital, 
Brain, Winter, 1898. 



state, which has now almost entirely replaced it. In this 
second state Felida is frank and cheerful in her manner, 
an active woman of business, and an excellent mother.* 
In her now rarely recurring first state — her c'tat bete as 
she herself calls it — she is reserved, gloomy, and selfish. 
Which of these two is her sane, her truly natural condi- 
tion ? which her abnormal ? Such instances lead us to 
inquire, Can the good effects which in this woman 
occurred spontaneously be brought about by outward 
means ? The reassuring answer is that they can be, and 
have been, thus brought about, and in the future will be 
wrought more frequently and more completely. The 
newer hypnotism is still a young science, and before the 
physician and the moral reformer lies a vast field of 
psychical possibilities still to be explored. 

Richett describes how by hypnotic suggestion he 
changed an enthusiastic Bonapartist into an equally 
enthusiastic Republican, who furthermore recognised 
her conversion. ' Vive Gambetta !' cried this lady. ' A 
veil seems torn away ! How mistaken I have been about 
him !' The effects of such an experiment as this are of 
course superficial and transitory, but such incidents point 
to possible induced moral changes, which may be rendered 
deep and permanent. 

Richet (op. cit., p. 250) and A. Pitres (Revue de 
I'Hypnotisme, December, 1890) suppose that personality 
depends upon memory of previous events and their rela- 
tion to one's self, and that this condition is never 
affected in the lighter grades of hypnosis, and only with 
comparative rarity in the deeper states of somnambulism. 
According to Pitres we find alteration of personality taking 
place in three different ways — by alternation, alienation, 
and reversion. All these occur under certain circum- 
stances in the waking state, and they may be induced in 
susceptible subjects by hypnotic suggestion. Thus, Azam 

* The changes are chiefly psychical. In both states she suffers 
from chionic asthma and general delicacy of health, 
t ' L'Homme et l'lntelligence ': Appendix. 


(op. cit., p. 245) mentions the case of an insane patient 
who always told him of her own symptoms as if they be- 
longed to a friend: 'I wish to consult you about a tumour 
which she has in her breast, and which causes her great 
pain,' etc., the person meant being herself. The way in 
which children speak of themselves in the third person is 
a matter of common observation. ' Freddy is a good 
boy, Freddy wants to go to bed,' etc. It is probable that, 
as memory is extremely limited in young children, their 
individuality and personality is vague and undeveloped. 
In insanity it is common enough to meet patients who 
believe themselves to be other people, generally of his- 
torical or present celebrity or importance. In the ad- 
vanced hypnotic state it is often possible to make the 
patient believe and act as if he were any person whose 
name is suggested to him, and he will endeavour to act 
the character exactly like one under insane delusion. It 
is this feature of hypnotism which is brought into such 
requisition by platform professors, and to the ignorant 
and careless it is a matter of merriment to see a stalwart 
countryman imagine himself a baby or a schoolgirl, or to 
see a young girl act the part of a general. For sex presents 
no bar to the reception of suggestions. The cases of 
change of personality by alternation cannot be better 

illustrated than by the foregoing ones of Victor V and 

Felida X . Examples of alteration of personality by 

reversion are not uncommon in medical practice. A 
patient in delirium frequently fancies himself a boy again, 
and, forgetting everything which has occurred in recent 
years, will remember and act over again trivial scenes of 
an apparently long-forgotten childhood. Dr. Pitres (Joe. 
cit.) gives an interesting account of a hysterical patient 
who had frequent attacks of amnesia, during which the 
events of the preceding few years were absolutely for- 
gotten, so that it was impossible to make her recognise 
her friends of the time. Not only did she speak and act 
as she had done in her youth, but it was evident that her 
mind was working in exactly the same way as it had done 


then. Dr. Pitres found he could at anytime produce this 
reversion by making her fix her attention strongly on 
some event in her past life, and then hypnotizing her 
while she so thought of it ; and he obtained the same 
result by pressing on certain parts of the body which 
seemed to act as ideogenic zones. In this case of 

Albertine M she suffered from hemianesthesia in 

her normal condition, but if by hypnotic suggestion she 
was put back to a period prior to the incident of this 
symptom, i.e., to her childhood, this condition no longer 
was present. Just as we have seen in the case of 

Victor V , per contra, the induction of paralytic 

symptoms brought the patient into the mental condition 
which went with this symptom. The two cases are most 
instructive as showing the very close relationship between 
psychical changes and physical states. 

Dr. Auguste Voisin has recently kept several of his 
patients for long periods of time in a state of altered 
personality, and there is no doubt but that in effecting 
moral reformation we do not so much create new per- 
sonality as bring out traits of character which have either 
been forgotten or have remained undeveloped. 

Liebeault describes the case of a Pole who was under 
his treatment for epilepsy. The man was very excitable, 
and had been a soldier in the Polish rebellion. After 
each attack he became so violent that it took six men to 
hold him in bed. During his violent struggles he would 
shout and declaim as though in the heat of a desperate 
engagement, and even after he had become calm and 
quiet he would for some minutes believe that he had been 
fighting in a battle, and would recite the incidents he 
thought he had witnessed. The vision was always the 
same. A desperate fight against overwhelming odds, a 
town in flames, and the whole scene illuminated by a moon 
of fantastic form.* 

The head-master of a boys' school tells me that he is 

* ' The"rapeutique Suggestive,' p. 142. 


obtaining good results in the suggestive treatment of 
moral disease and of mental torpor, and some of his 
pupils declare that when they have been hypnotized their 
sums ' come easier ' to them than usual. Some time 
since, I was called upon to treat a case of moral perversity 
— a young girl, who has greatly improved under the 
influence of suggestion. From being idle and rebellious, 
she has, so I am told by her teachers, become docile, and 
has developed a decided aptitude for study. A ' chronic ' 
medical student, in about his tenth year, who consulted me 
occasionally, assured me that my treatment ' wound up ' 
his intellectual machinery, so that he could work several 
hours a day after each visit. As this gentleman was only 
slightly hypnotizable, I do not take much credit to myself 
for this good effect ; but I do claim for hypnotism the 
results achieved in another case, also that of a medical 
student. The patient was not only idle, but was addicted 
to drink and dissipation. At heart, however, he was a 
good fellow, and was much beloved by his friends. He 
came to me in despair, and assured me hypnotism was 
his last chance, and that if it failed he should shoot him- 
self. It succeeded, and he is now in good practice, with 
an excellent wife, and every prospect of a life of happiness 
and usefulness. 

Dr. Hugh Wingfield relates the effect of hypnotism on 
one of his Cambridge subjects. The young man was 
clever and well-meaning, but an inveterate idler, and 
could not settle to work. In a state of profound hypnosis 
Dr. Wingfield ' suggested ' that he should retire to his 
rooms every evening after dinner and settle down to 
steady work until midnight, that he should ' sport his 
oak ' and deny himself to his friends, and that he should 
pass his forthcoming examination. The suggestions suc- 
ceeded perfectly, and in six weeks the patient passed a 
good examination, much to his own delight and to the 
surprise of his friends. 

Liebeault tells of a school-boy who was hypnotized as 
an encouragement to his younger brother, who was the 


real patient. He proved such a good subject that it 
seemed a pity to waste the opportunity, and so the doctor 
' suggested ' great industry and hard work, so that he 
might rise to the top of his class. The boy was intelligent 
but idle, and the suggestion had such effect that for three 
weeks he worked so hard that he did occupy the top of 
his class instead of his usual place at the bottom. But 
he gradually deteriorated, so his mother wanted to take 
him to Liebeault again. The boy, however, absolutely 
refused to go, for he said he didn't like that doctor, 
because what he did made him work too hard. 

On the other hand, Vincent relates how he suggested 
to a history student that the battle of Hastings was fought 
in 1067 ; for several days, if asked for the date, he gave 
that, and stuck to it. And there is the story of a French 
accountant, whose books all went wrong because he was 
told, when profoundly hypnotized, that two and three 
made six. Such an upsetting of one's experience and 
knowledge would not last long without repetition of the 
suggestion, for the mental pendulum would swing back to 

its normal position, as in the case of Mrs. S and the 

cat (p. 70). 

I have been asked to treat several children who were 
unsatisfactory. In one case a boy of fourteen wrote to 
me from a public school, asking me to hypnotize him to 
enable him to overcome certain bad habits and the intel- 
lectual lassitude which he supposed to be their result. 
The boy proved an excellent subject, and responded per- 
fectly to the suggestions I made. He worked so well that 
he took a good scholarship, and afterwards became a high 
wrangler at Cambridge. Medical men and parents often 
notice that boys about the age of puberty become idle 
and unsatisfactory, and such cases require very careful 
management, as the boy's future is at stake. Hypnotic 
suggestion in good hands is very useful in tiding over this 
critical period. 

It should be clearly understood that the use of hypnotic 
suggestion as an educational influence should be carefully 


restricted, and never allowed to interfere with the healthy- 
development of individual character. It should be re- 
served for cases where there is inherited or acquired 
vicious tendency, and should even then be resorted to 
only when other means have been fairly tried and found 
ineffectual. We know that in some young persons there 
is a complete breakdown of the moral self, while in some 
others it seems entirely absent, and it is for children of this 
debased or deteriorated type — such children as abound in 
our reformatories — that this moral treatment will prove 
most useful. I would especially mention its power to 
cure the inherited craving for alcohol, which so frequently 
appears in the neuropathic children of drunken parents. 
In an article I contributed to the Medical Annual for 1898 
I laid great stress on the value of hypnotic suggestion as 
a corrector of bad heredity, and of all the uses of hypnotism 
I believe this to be the greatest. 

Berillon, as Government Medical Inspector of Public 
Asylums in France, has great facilities for studying 
abnormal children, and he has employed hypnotic sug- 
gestion largely in correcting vicious tendencies. He has 
made a special study of degeneration in children, and 
among the signs of this condition he reckons nail-biting 
(onychophagie) , nocturnal enuresis, masturbation, and exces- 
sive pusillanimity. These conditions are very amenable 
to hypnotic treatment. 

Many persons have objected to the educational use of 
hypnotic suggestion, on the ground that it is a tampering 
with the ' free-will ' of those influenced. It is true enough 
that the will should not be weakened, but who would say 
that it should not be interfered with ? Is it not a fact 
that all education and all moral training are an interference 
with free-will ? The child who delights in school-work 
needs no coercion to application. The child — if such a 
one there be — who has no moral faults whatever, requires 
no exhortations to unselfishness, truthfulness, and other 
good qualities. But most children prefer play to work. 
Some will tell a lie to escape punishment; all, so it seems, 


have a variety of failings and bad habits, so that re- 
formative and preventive means must be used to train 
them to industry, truth-telling, and general excellence of 
conduct. It is, as I have said, only when those ordinary 
means have failed that hypnotic suggestion should be 
employed, and then it should work on the same lines as 
all judicious education : the child should not be made to 
obey like a slave or an automaton, but should be guided 
by suggestion, as by a wise teacher, to practise auto- 
suggestion, and thus, by his own will-power, to aid in the 
overcoming of bad habits and the acquiring of good ones. 

Some enthusiastic advocates of hypnotism argue that 
as nearly all normal children are readily hypnotized ; 
as it is much more easy to hypnotize patients who have 
been operated on previously ; and as conditions are very 
likely to arise in after-life in which the induction of 
hypnosis would be of advantage for combating pain, in- 
ducing sleep or anaesthesia, or correcting evil habits ; it is 
very desirable to hypnotize every child, so as to be able 
to invoke the agent when required. 

I confess to have no sympathy with such a contention, 
but, on the contrary, incline to the opinion of a medical 
friend who says he would rather have his child naturally 
naughty than hypnotically good — if by 'naturally' he means 
the ordinary faults and shortcomings of free, happy and 
healthy childhood. If he were the parent of such a child 
as is described on p. 320, I dare say this gentleman would 
modify his opinion, and be glad to employ the only remedy 
which, as far as I know, is available in such cases. 

When the mental powers are deficient by reason of 
faulty brain structure, hypnotism cannot, of course, do 
much. No one professes to create new gray matter by 
hypnotic suggestion. Still, the records of our asylums 
show that even when the brain is almost rudimentary, 
educational influence may be successful in producing 
decent and orderly habits. But in complete idiotcy it is 
almost impossible to hypnotize, and suggestions are 
powerless through want of a point d'appui. 


At the Nancy Congress Dr. Liebeault and others gave 
instances of dull, idle, and unmanageable children who 
by suggestion (combined in some cases with judicious 
home influence) were made models of industry and good 
behaviour. Schoolboys who had habitually kept at the 
bottom of their form were by this treatment so incited to 
work that they soon occupied a place at the other end. 
Another child, seven years of age, so obtuse as to be 
almost an idiot, was so benefited by suggestion, that in 
three months he could read, write, and understand the 
four rules of arithmetic. 

What other remedy but hypnotism can be suggested in 
such a case as the following, which I treated in 1895 ? A 
lady interested in reformatory work brought me a girl of 
fifteen to see if hypnotism could help her. She was a 
workhouse child of degenerate type, but not imbecile. 
She had been placed in two different situations as servant, 
and in each case had been sent away for theft. At the 
home she was put to laundry work, and there being 
nothing else to steal, she used to steal the soap and the 
other girls' bread-and-butter. These she hid away, but 
made no use of. 

She proved a good hypnotic subject, and I suggested 
that in future she should know she was doing wrong when 
she stole, and should be able to refrain ; that she should 
work industriously, and be honest, truthful and attentive. 
In all these qualities she was deficient, but after being 
hypnotized a few times a great improvement was per- 
ceptible, and she was sent to a third situation. She was 
reported (1899) to be still in that situation, and to be 
giving complete satisfaction. Hypnotism probably saved 
the girl from a life of misery and crime, for kleptomania 
is not recognised among the poor. 

Dr. Hack Tuke, speaking of ' moral insanity ' (Journal 
of Mental Science, 1885), well puts it when he says that in 
cases of this description, where, perhaps, the disposition 
and actions of one member of a family will by their 
perversity bring untold suffering on his relations, there is 


undue development of the lower or automatic functions, 
whilst the higher centres are defective, and that it should 
be our object to correct this disproportion by suppressing 
some functions and developing others. If (he goes on to 
say) the horses drawing a coach run away in consequence 
of the driver being drunk, it is not the horses we should 
blame for the accident, but the incapable driver who is 
no longer able to hold the reins. We know that badness 
may proceed from two causes, which Dr. Tuke calls 
moral resolution — positively bad, and moral irresolution — 
negatively bad. It is probable that in either case, if the 
offender were caught young, hypnotic suggestion would 
prove a valuable adjunct to other reformative agencies. 

In course of time the new personality, induced by 
suggestion and encouraged by religious ministration and 
teaching, will displace the old, and a complete moral 
revolution will be the result. 

In those cases a state of double consciousness, such as 
one sometimes sees in natural somnambulism, was prob- 
ably induced. A subject of this kind may live two alter- 
nate lives, one good, the other evil ; and in one of these 
lives she will be unconscious of her actions in the other 
(Forbes Winslow, op. cit., p. 420). In some instances 
both of these utterly different lines of conduct will appear 
so rational that it is difficult to decide which is natural to 
the subject.* 

One is frequently asked whether the cures worked by 
suggestion are of a permanent character. To this I reply, 
they are as permanent as cures effected by any other 
means. Relapses occur in many diseases, no matter what 
treatment has been employed — sometimes through some 
carelessness on the part of the patient or of those who 
have charge of him. A person who is cured of rheumatism 
to-day, may to-morrow get fresh cold and develop a new 
attack, or other symptoms. But with proper attention, 
and the customary precautions as regards diet, rest, tem- 

* The story of ' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ' might be founded on one 
of these cases. 


perature, etc., the success of this treatment is not transi- 
tory. The improvement effected by its means is often so 
marked and so rapid that patients are tempted to discon- 
tinue its use, and return to their ordinary habits before 
the cure is perfected and the habit of disease broken, for- 
getting that when a diseased condition has existed for 
some time it probably has taken firm hold on the system, 
and is not to be dispelled in a day. Sudden cures are 
apt to be fallacious, as are such cures by other modes of 
treatment ; and though brilliant results are sometimes 
attained, the)- can never be counted upon, and there 
should be no disappointment when improvement is a little 

I have certainly found two statements commonly made 
about the treatment to be fallacious. The first, that the 
effects are temporary, and that amelioration of the 
symptoms is followed by speedy relapse and a deeper 
sinking into the slough ; and the second, that if a relapse 
occurs, the patient will not a second time be benefited 
by the treatment. I have treated patients for various 
ailments who were cured two years ago and have had no 
relapse, and others who, from the nature of their disease, 
have experienced relapses, have almost invariably been 
relieved by subsequent hypnotization, and more speedily 
than on the first occasion. 

On the very threshold a difficulty may occur : the 
patient will perhaps appear insusceptible. This need not 
cause discouragement, for in many cases the hypnotic 
influence is not felt until after three or more sittings. 
Comparatively few persons remain insusceptible* to it ; 

* See tables, p. 58. An apparent trifle may cause one operator 
to fail where another will succeed at once. I know a very able foreign 
physician, who completely failed to influence two English patients, 
because he smelt of garlic, and so called up disturbing emotions in 
their minds. I was once unsuccessful with a gentleman, who after- 
wards told me the reason of my failure. He imagined, as many do, 
that it is essential for the operator to possess great strength both of 
mind and body. When I touched his eyes to close them, he observed 
a slight tremor in my hand, and attributed this to a physical or mental 
weakness, which, he argued, must prevent my influencing him — a 
stranger, and a strong man of high intellectual capacity. The idea 


and when once it is established, the hypnotic state is 
afterwards more easily induced, and tends also to become 
more intense, though this does not necessarily follow. 

It is very difficult to eradicate a deeply-rooted popular 
belief, and it is not very easy for a practitioner of the 
suggestive system to avoid being called a magnetizer, 
since artificially induced sleep is the common preliminary 
of the treatment. But, as I have already stated, Dr. 
Liebeault and his disciples absolutely reject the fanciful 
theories regarding animal magnetism which were held 
fifty years ago. They contend that no unusual gifts are 
needed to practise the system, and that the chief 
requisite is confidence. (The footnote on p. 109 shows 
how want of confidence may be detected by the patient, 
and how the very suspicion of it will cause failure.) 
With wider experience comes increased confidence in 
one's self and in the system, followed naturally by in- 
creased success. 

But ' majus remedium majus venenum' is a true saying, 
and it would be an exception to all rule if such a powerful 
remedy as suggestion were not liable to abuse. When 
dynamite was discovered, no one denied that the lawless 
and desperate would, if possible, turn it to bad account, 
yet it was not tabooed for this reason, but its manufacture 
and distribution have been surrounded by precautions 
and restrictions, and it is allowed to occupy its proper 
place in applied science in the hands of miners and 
engineers. It is interesting to read in contemporary 
records the controversy which raged round the introduction 
of chloroform into medical practice fifty years ago. All 
manner of evils, physical, religious and moral, were fore- 
told as certain to follow man's temerity in interfering 

called up a resistance, which rendered him insusceptible. Subse- 
quently, when I had explained to him that my personal attributes 
were, in this matter, of no consequence whatever, he easily fell into a 
profound hypnotic sleep. There is, however, a proportion of sane 
persons — perhaps 10 per cent. — who are to all intents and purposes 
unhypnotizable. This insusceptibility seems to depend upon idio- 
syncrasy, and is neither a sign of commanding intelligence nor the 


with the laws of Nature ; but Sir James Simpson was a 
doughty champion, and was not prevented from making 
public his grand discovery because nervous people were 
afraid it might be employed for evil purposes ; nor is its 
use forbidden, though every year a certain percentage of 
crimes and outrages are committed by its aid.* Poison- 
ing by arsenic, corrosive sublimate, and digitalis some- 
times occur, and yet these drugs occupy a prominent 
place in the pharmacopoeia ; for it is found that, although 
those powerful agents are sometimes used to inflict harm, 
the evil caused by their illegitimate employment is so out- 
weighed by their usefulness that no one would think of 
suppressing them. So with hypnotism. Its power for 
good is undoubted ; it fills a place that nothing else can 
fill so adequately, and used with proper precaution and 
under necessary restrictions, it is perfectly safe. 

Dr. Semal, in the discussion on hypnotism in the 
Belgian Academy of Medicine (June 30, 1888), having 
condemned the prostitution of the system by travelling 
prestidigitatcurs and charlatans, spoke strongly in favour 
of having it included in the medical curriculum of the 
Universities, as being the only legitimate means of making 
it known. ' This course,' he said, ' would prevent its 
being used empirically and stupidly, and would keep it 
as a powerful therapeutic agent in the hands of the 
medical profession so long as the art of healing is 

The exploitation of hypnotism as an exhibition at public 
entertainments has already been prohibited by law in 
Switzerland, Holland, and other countries, and when the 
true position of this treatment is understood among us, the 

* I am informed by credible witnesses, who were living in Edin- 
burgh at the time, that Professor Simpson used to invite his friends to 
his house to experiment with the new agent, and it was quite common 
for several of the guests to narcotize themselves that they might com- 
pare experiences. This affords another analogy between the intro- 
duction of hypnotism and that of chloroform, and we may hope that 
as chloroform soon got beyond the popular and experimental stage, 
so may hypnotism be freed from its platform and drawing-room 


same restrictions will probably be enforced in England.* 
' The performance of experiments in public,' write Binet 
and Fere (op. cit.), ' should be condemned, just as we 
condemn public dissection of the dead body, and vivi- 
section in public. It is certain that there are still graver 
objections to hypnotic exhibitions, since they are liable to 
produce nervous affections even in those who do not 
propose to be the subjects of experiment.' Such experi- 
ments, I maintain, are always useless and often cruel, 
besides being an offence against the dignity of humanity. 
The contortions and exclamations of a patient under 
chloroform are often interesting, and might by some 
persons be thought amusing, but we should hardly choose 
to excite them for the gratification of idle curiosity or the 
entertainment of the multitude. 

By all means let people be made aware of the existence 
and nature of an influence to which most of us are sus- 
ceptible, and some to a dangerous degree : for to be fore- 
warned is to be forearmed, and we shall not have foolish 
persons playing with such an edged tool if they know how 
serious may be the consequences of their trifling. A 
paragraph which lately went the round of the papers 
shows how ignorance may lead to awkward results. A 
couple of young men went to a cafe after attending a 
' magnetic ' performance, and one of them, full of what 
he had seen, proposed ' magnetizing ' the barmaid. She 
consented, and he imitated the ' passes ' made by the 
lecturer. Very soon the subject fell into a hypnotic 
trance, from which neither of the young men could 
arouse her. Like Ali Baba's brother, they had got into 
forbidden regions, and did not know the password which 
should let them out. The police were sent for, the young 
woman was taken to the hospital, where after a time she 
awoke, and the operator was arrested and locked up. 

The following case has recently come under my own 

* One of the objects of the International Congress of physicians 
practising hypnotism, which was held in Paris in 1889, was to pass a 
strong resolution dealing with this question, and calling upon Govern- 
ments to render public exhibitions of hypnotism illegal. 


notice, for my advice was sought by the much-perplexed 
experimenter : 

A young gentleman, after a few lessons from a public 
magnetizer, went to stay in a country house where, among 
other guests, was a young lady of well-marked hysterical 
temperament. To show off his recently-acquired know- 
ledge, and to afford a little amusement, he undertook to 
hypnotize this girl, and after a few minutes' employment 
of the method known as fascination, the subject fell into a 
profound trance. He had some difficulty in arousing her, 
and ever since she has had frequently recurring fits of 
cataleptic trance, which are always ushered in by an out- 
burst of screaming, in which she cries : ' He is doing it 
now !' She is under the impression that the young man 
is constantly exercising a power over her, though he is 
hundreds of miles away, and her nervous system is reduced 
to a state which causes serious alarm to her family. That 
her idea is absurd, and that such action at a distance is 
impossible, renders the matter none the less painful for 
the young lady and her family, or less awkward for the 
rash experimenter. Such an occurrence naturally fills 
people's minds with dislike and distrust for hypnotism, 
for they confuse a wanton and clumsily-conducted experi- 
ment with a medical treatment of which hypnotism forms 
only a preliminary step. 7 " 1 

On the occasion of an academic discussion on hypnotism 
at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association, 
at Birmingham, in 1890, I read extracts from letters I had 
received from the best-known physicians practising hypno- 
tism at home and abroad. Bernheim, Moll, Forell, Van 
Eeden, Milne Bramwell, and others, all wrote that they 

* A story told by the late Professor Christison of Edinburgh bears on 
this point. He one day mesmerized a highly-nervous lady, and when 
she awoke he toid her that the following day, at noon, he would repeat 
the operation from a distance. At that hour the Professor was lectur- 
ing, and had quite forgotten the occurrence ; nevertheless, the lady, in 
spite of all her husband could do to prevent it, fell into a profound 
trance, and said she felt she was being mesmerized. Expectant atten- 
tion and auto-suggestion produced the effect, and such is found to be 
the explanation of most of the stories which are foisted upon a credu- 
lous public. 



had never seen any injurious effects follow the use of 
hypnotism by trustworthy hands. Dr. Liebeault told me 
that in his thirty years' experience he had had no bad 
results, and referred me to an article he had recently 
published, entitled ' Confession d'un Medecin Hypno- 
tiseur,'* in which he has set forth the little mishaps 
which have happened from time to time in his clinique. 

I was extremely glad to get this mass of testimony, as it 
disposed of an idea, not confined only to the uneducated, 
that medical hypnotism may induce epilepsy, hysteria, 
chorea, etc. Dr. A. T. Myers also informs me that the 
subjects he has seen hypnotized many scores of times for 
the Society for Psychical Research, over long periods of 
time, are none the worse for their experience. Dr. Lie- 
beault is undoubtedly perfectly correct when he states 
that where any evil result has followed the treatment, it 
has been due to want of skill or judgment on the part of 
the operator. I am convinced that hypnotism is an agent 
requiring careful handling in many cases; this was brought 
home to a medical friend of mine, whose experience is 
worth recording. He was attending a lady suffering from 
bronchitis complicated with asthma and a weak and fatty 
heart. He thought to quiet her spasmodic attacks by 
suggestion, and he induced a state of profound hypnosis 
with great facility. He continued to suggest easier and 
quieter breathing, and was pleased to see how the patient 
responded and how respiration became more and more 
tranquil. He had not hypnotized many people, and 
looked upon the process as being quite unattended with 
risk, until the breathing, having become more and more 
feeble, suddenly stopped altogether, and the heart -beat 
became imperceptible. My friend feared the patient 
would have died — the first victim of hypnotic suggestion 
— and was intensely relieved when the spasmodic breath- 
ing was again heard. As far as I know, no record exists 
of its having proved fatal. Heidenhain refers to experi- 
ments of this kind as being distinctly dangerous, and states 

* Op. a/., p. 308. 


how he nearly stopped the action of his brother's heart by 
continued suggestion. 

But while contending that the risks of hypnotism in 
proper hands are infinitesimal, we are strongly impressed 
with the belief that its use by the ignorant or ill-disposed 
is fraught with most serious risk to health. Dr. M. J. 
Nolan relates, in the Journal of Mental Science (January, 
1S91), a case of stuporose insanity which he believes was 
due to the ignorant employment of hypnotism. The 
patient was a drunken and dissipated soldier, broken in 
health by his excesses, and he was hypnotized by a travel- 
ling ' professor.' Dr. Van Eeden (loc. cit.) records a case 
of hystero-epilepsy brought on in the same way, and 
Charcot {Revue de VHypnotisme, July, 1889) contributes 
notes of a case in which a woman, after being frequentlv 
hypnotized by a magnetizer at a fair, became aphasic for 
several months, and suffered in health in other ways. 
Dr. Giles de la Tourette read a paper dealing with this 
subject before the Paris Society of Legal Medicine, in 
December, 1888 {Revue de VHypnotisme, January, 1889), 
and demonstrated how the passage of magnetizers through 
the towns of France had been followed by serious epi- 
demics of hysteria and other nervous troubles.^ He 
adds : ' Our country (France) has become the refuge of all 
the magnetizers, and their advertisements cover the walls 
of Paris.' Such a complaint can no longer be made, for 
public performances are now forbidden by the munici- 
palitv. England is now almost the last refuge of the 
expatriated magnetizers. 

Sir F. Cruiset mentions a case in which ' an attack of 
brain fever followed the induction of hypnosis by an 
ignorant and irresponsible operator, and deduces from 
this and other cases the argument that ' it is highly im- 
proper and possibly dangerous for anyone who is not an 
educated physician, and familiar with the practice, to 

* ' Dangers de THypnotisme et interdiction des representations 
the'atrales.' Ann. d' Hygiene, vol. xxi. Paris, 1889. 
t Dublin Journal 0/ Medical Science, May, 1891. 



attempt hypnotism, and that it should never be induced 
without due reason, precaution and design.' 

Dr. Dejerine, Professeur Agrege of the Faculty of Medi- 
cine in Paris, is convinced that the continual making of 
injurious and absurd suggestions is fraught with evil con- 
sequences to the subject, and especially so if the halluci- 
nations are allowed to persist over considerable periods of 
time. He says the time may arrive when the operator 
may find himself unable to remove the morbid symptoms 
he has called into being (Revue de VHypnotismc, January, 
1891). But he adds that he has never seen hypnotism 
produce any bad effects when it has been properly used. 

Dr. Julius Solow* records a case where an amateur 
hypnotist hypnotized a friend by making him look fixedly 
at a diamond ring. The subject had severe convulsions 
and lost the power of speech. Subsequently, looking at 
any bright object caused him to become violently excited. 
Commenting on this case, the British Medical Journal says 
(March 28, 1891) : 

' It should be a warning to amateur hypnotizers and to 
the foolish people who allow themselves to be played upon 
by these dangerous showmen. ... It ought to be under- 
stood that hypnotism recklessly played with is capable of 
doing very serious mischief, and it is the duty of the 
medical profession in every town to warn the public of the 
serious risks which are being run.' 

The case of lima S , so fully described by Kraft- 

Ebing,t is frequently quoted as an example of the dangers 
of hypnotism, and it gives us some idea of what must be 
the mental condition of the unfortunate persons who are 
being constantly hypnotized by professional showmen. 

Several Italian observers have recorded cases of grave 
mental troubles following the abuse of hypnotism by 
public showmen and others. Fiegerio describes a case 
where the subject, a young woman, after being experi- 
mented on by Donato, became affected with spontaneous 

* New York Medical Journal, March 14, 1891. 
t Quoted in Brain, April, 1891. 


somnambulism, accompanied by impulsive tendencies to 
strike and destroy {American Journal of Insanity, April. 

If a patient should take it into her head to imagine that 
one was having an undue personal influence over her, as 
in the case referred to on p. 113, the course to adopt is 
plain. The physician should decline to operate again, 
and if the idea persists, he should obtain the assistance of 
a colleague, whom he should get to hypnotize the patient 
for him, and to suggest to her the disappearance of the 
delusion. I have found it necessary to act thus in one 
case, and the plan was completely successful. The patient, 
a highly hysterical lady of a certain age, and unmarried, 
developed a craving for hypnotism in much the same way 
as she might have for alcohol or morphia.* 

There is another reason for the careful regulation of the 
use of hypnotism, which should appeal to all those who 
have the progress of science at heart. The process of 
hypnotizing an ordinary subject is so simple, that it seems 
absurd to talk of teaching it to a person of ordinary in- 
telligence and liberal education ; to see it done a few 
times is to be able to do it one's self. Of course, this is 
the least part of the treatment, and, in fact, it bears the 

* Every form of treatment is liable to abuse. I have seen two 
striking examples of this in Weir-Mitchell cases. The rest and fre- 
quent feeding proved so agreeable to the patients that they continued 
this part of the treatment when they returned to their homes. 

The first of these patients was a middle-aged clergyman, who 
became neurasthenic after an attack of influenza. After he left the 
nursing-home, he made his wife continue to feed him every four hours, 
and used to lie in bed all the time, except for a few hours on Sunday, 
when he got up and conducted service in his church. He came to 
me for hypnotic treatment weighing 20 stone, and in a curious 
apathetic state. I succeeded in stirring him up and making him 
change his habits. He had been an extremely active and zealous 
missionary clergyman, so one had good material at bottom to work 
upon. The other case was that of a lady, who, when dismissed from 
the nursing-home, straightway took to her bed, and got her maid to 
feed her every two hours. She added excessive drinking to over- 
feeding, and, as we couldn't get her to change her mode of life, she 
soon died of cirrhosis of the liver and fatty heart. 

Both these patients discontinued one essential detail of Weir- 
Mitchell's treatment — the massage, which renders it possible for the 
system to assimilate the large amount of food consumed. 


same relation to the Nancy method as the administration 
of chloroform does to a subsequent surgical operation. 
The practice of hypnotic suggestion is surrounded by 
pitfalls which only the operator with a medical training 
can avoid, and the results of the treatment are only of 
scientific value if they have been checked by investigators 
accustomed to gauge the value of evidence. At the 
present time, when the treatment is, we may say, in its 
infancy, we want every fact scientifically investigated, 
and therefore it is of immense importance to restrict the 
field of hypnotism to trained medical workers.* If Dr. 
Elliotson, a physician of rare ability, and a man of unim- 
peachable probity, had acted with the discretion shown by 
Bernheim and other foreign physicians, he would probably 
have arrived at the truth which it required another 
generation to extract from a mass of superincumbent 

There is another danger from the ignorant use of hyp- 
notism as a remedial agent. I cannot agree with some 
writers who seem to contend that pain must not be inter- 
fered with, as it is a part of Nature's recuperative pro- 
cess^ but it is often a danger-signal which should not be 
neglected. Covering the signal does not do away with the 
danger it denotes. I have heard a patient suffering from 
gastric ulcer told by an ignorant magnetizer that she was 
to go home and eat a beefsteak, and a man with mitral 
disease directed to run up to the top of a high house. So 
great is the power of suggestion, that in both these cases 
the order was obeyed, and the symptoms were masked for 
a time. 

Some persons, especially some young women, are so 
susceptible, that one has only to get their consent and to 
bid them go to sleep to induce a condition of profound 
somnambulism. In such cases ' expectant attention ' 

* I allude, of course, to medical hypnotism, with which I am chiefly 
interested. The scientific value of work done by such trained observers 
as Messrs. Gurney and Myers has been already referred to. 

t Vide article by Dr. Sinclair Thomson in the Westminster 
Review, December, 1890. 


alone seems sufficient, and it is matter for surprise that 
we do not find more people falling into spontaneous som- 
nambulism, as the condition is so easily induced. 

It is these subjects of unstable cerebral equilibrium who 
are most liable to danger from the abuse of hypnotism, 
and it is these, consequently, that we should especially 
seek to protect. I need hardly say that the use of hypno- 
tism towards the accomplishment of a crime or misde- 
meanour should be regarded as a serious aggravation of 
the offence. 

Charcot in France, Ladame in Switzerland, and Semal 
in Belgium, have done much to stop the public exhibition 
of hypnotism in those countries, by demonstrating the 
physical and mental evils which have befallen the subjects 
of such performances. Those who witnessed a so-called 
entertainment of this kind given in London some years 
since must remember how fatigued and languid, or excited 
and hysterical, were many of the subjects. The aim of a 
public entertainer is to excite wonder or mirth in the 
minds of his audience, and so long as he can evoke a 
sufficiently startling note, he cares little, even if he fully 
understands, that the instrument he plays upon is the 
delicate organism of the higher brain centres.* 

There has been a great deal of correspondence in the 
daily press about hypnotism and suggestion, and one 
writer in an evening paper recently complained that after 
being hypnotized she felt for some time a disagreeable 
sensation, as of being ' drawn to the operator.' I believe 

* Apprehension of danger rests very frequently upon the miscon- 
ception that loss of volition and amnesia are ordinary accompani- 
ments of medical hypnotism. Such an idea arises from witnessing 
public performances, and it is difficult to eradicate. The physician 
who employs hypnotism as a remedial agent neither seeks to obtain 
somnambulism — in which state alone the patients' memory and will- 
power are seriously affected — nor, as a matter of fact, does it occur, 
except in a small proportion of cases. The condition ordinarily 
attained, and here I can speak from personal experience, is one of 
gentle lethargy, very similar in character to that agreeable state 
between sleeping and waking which most of us experience when, after 
being called in the morning, we give ourselves five minutes' grace 
before getting up. 


that such a sensation, unless suggested during hypnosis 
by the operator, could only be the result of hysterical 
imagination, and I have never seen anything of the kind 
in my practice. Such a statement, however, emphasizes 
the importance of the rule, that hypnotism should be 
practised only in the presence of witnesses, and that the 
patient should be thoroughly awakened before leaving the 
consulting-room. The best guarantee against the abuse 
of hypnotism will be its recognition as a branch of medical 
treatment, to be used by medical men with the same 
caution as anaesthetics and poisons in general. 

The practitioner who uses hypnotism should do so with 
the same precautions which he adopts in administering 
an anaesthetic. Chief among these are obtaining the 
formal consent of the patient, and, when expedient, of 
his friends, and never operating save in the presence of 
at least one witness. Thus he will guard himself and his 
patient from all possible imputation of wrong-doing or 
abuse of power. I need hardly add that a patient desiring 
hypnotic treatment will, if commonly prudent, use dis- 
crimination in choosing a physician, and will avoid placing 
himself under the influence of one not known to him, at 
least by reputation. 

The dangers of hypnotism are, I believe, exaggerated. 
The stories told of persons obtaining undue influence over 
others by its means are mostly fables, which experience 
shows to be impossible. Professor Bernheim asserts, and 
is borne out by other observers, that no one can be hypno- 
tized against his wish, and that, in fact, it is his own will 
which sends him to sleep. Nevertheless, there is no doubt 
that after a time the oncoming of sleep is less under the 
patient's control, and when, as we see sometimes at 
Nancy, a person is continually being hypnotized by the 
same operator, the hypnotic state can be reproduced with 
surprising readiness. I believe that in certain hysterical 
cases there arises a craving for this, as there might for 
any other sedative ; but such a craving has little chance 
of being encouraged if the suggestive practice is confined 


to its proper sphere. A physician does not go on pre- 
scribing narcotic drugs because a patient has a craving 
for them, but, on the contrary, forbids their use when 
they cease to be beneficial. 

The physician practising suggestion may protect his 
oversensitive patients from the dangers of being hypno- 
tized by a stranger. He has only to impress upon them, 
while they are in the hypnotic state, that no one can pro- 
duce any such effect upon them without their free will 
and formal consent. The most practised operator would 
try his art in vain upon one so protected, as Drs. Liebeault 
and Bernheim have repeatedly proved,* and as I myself 

* These physicians were in the habit of hypnotizing- an hysterical 
patient, who used to fall into somnambulism as easily in the hands of 
one as in those of the other. On one occasion, while she was in this 
state. Dr. Bernheim told her that she was not to be influenced by Dr. 
Liebeault. She awoke quite oblivious of this suggestion having been 
made, and soon afterwards went to Dr. Liebeault, who was ignorant of 
what had taken place, and asked him to hypnotize her as usual. To 
the surprise of both patient and doctor, all his attempts to do so were 
futile, and it was only on communicating the fact to Dr. Bernheim 
that his colleague found its explanation. 

This is so important a point that I asked Dr. Outterson Wood 
(Secretary of the British Medical Association Committee on Hypno- 
tism) to put it to the test, and he kindly consented. Mrs. M , 

who is frequently referred to in these pages, was the subject. The 
first occasion was in November, 1890. I had not hypnotized Mrs. 

M for several weeks, and had made no suggestions in reference 

to her not being hypnotized by anyone else for at least six months 
I told her that Dr. Outterson Wood wished to hypnotize her, and left 
her alone with him. When I returned in half an hour, I found her 
asleep, and Dr. Wood informed me he had succeeded in hypnotizing 
her after trying the method of fascination for about twenty minutes. 
He was obliged to leave the house to keep an appointment, and I 

then found Mrs. M would not reply to my questions, and was 

apparently in a deep trance, and only en rappoi t with Dr. Wood. 
Adopting Liegeois's plan, I said in a loud voice to a patient standing 

by, ' Mrs. M is fast asleep now, but she will awake in exactly five 

minutes.' Though apparently unconscious, her ears evidently took 
in the suggestion, and her mind acted upon it, for she awoke to the 

This experience affords a hint as to the course to adopt if called in 
to a case of trance suspected to be of hypnotic origin. Though the 
subject seemed absolutely unconscious, and would doubtless have 
proved anaesthetic to violent stimuli, her brain responded to the 
stimulus of an indirect suggestion. 

We repeated the experiment in June, 1891, but I previously hypno- 
tized her daily for three da\ s, and each time suggested that on no 
account was she to allow herself to be hypnotized by anyone else, and 
1 got her to promise that this should be so. I again left Dr. Wood 


have seen. I always safeguard my more susceptible 
patients against the danger of being hypnotized against 
their will by telling them that no one will be able to 
influence them without their previous consent in writing, 
and I find this plan acts admirably. In fact, the more 
susceptible the patient, the greater the effect of this 
deterrent suggestion, so that I have seen practised 
operators experiment on such subjects without producing 
any other effect but restlessness and discomfort. In one 
case, that of a young girl, who is one of my best subjects, 
I asked her to allow a lady doctor to hypnotize her, and 
she gave her consent. Nevertheless, she proved quite 
insusceptible to the lady's persevering attempts. The 
patient told me afterwards that she had a very strong 
objection to being hypnotized by a stranger, and that her 
consent was only assumed. 

Disregard of this simple precaution was to my mind one 
of the most regrettable features of the late Dr. Luys's 
clinique. Some of the young women there seemed to be 
at the mercy of anyone who cared to exert an influence 
over them. 

One is sometimes asked, even by medical men, if the 
fact of having hypnotized a patient does not enable the 

with her alone, and told her that he wished to hypnotize her. She 
did not remember having premised that she would not allow herself 
to be hypnotized, but she expressed disinclination for the operation. 
However, a little persuasion made her give her consent, and Dr. 
Wood again sought to influence her by fascination. When I returned 
1 found her very hysterical, and complaining of feeling faint and ill ; 
but she was not hypnotized, though the process had lasted twenty 
minutes. I hypnotized her at once by stroking the forehead, and 
the disturbance of breathing and circulation disappeared in a few 
moments. She awoke feeling quite herself, but told me she would 
never allow anyone else to try to hypnotize her, as the suffering she 
experienced was acute, and she would have given anything to have 
escaped it by closing her eyes and going to sleep, but felt constrained 
to keep awake. This patient had been hypnotized by me the first 
time 1 tried in less than two minutes, and there is no doubt but that 
any competent operator would have been tqually successful. Her 
yielding to Dr. Wood's first attempt only after a long struggle, and 
her not yielding at all the second time, seems to offer conclusive 
evidence that so far from previous hypno.ization necessarily increasing 
a person's subsequent susceptibility, it may be used so as to very 
greatly diminish it. 


practitioner to exercise more than the proper amount of 
influence over him in future. Nothing of this kind is at 
all likely to happen, and the doctor who uses hypnotism 
will find neither more nor less gratitude from his patients 
than if he employed more material remedies. The im- 
portation of hypnotism into a recent case, however, shows 
the danger the medical attendant may incur by running 
counter to popular prejudice, and how necessary it is for 
him to safeguard himself (vide p. 368). 

I may fitly bring this chapter to a close with a quotation 
from Professor Bernheim's oft-referred-to work : ' It is 
the duty of the physician to select what is useful in sug- 
gestion, and to apply it for the benefit of his patients. 
When, in the presence of sickness, I think that thera- 
peutic suggestion has a chance of success, I should con- 
sider myself to blame as a physician if I did not propose 
it to my patient, and if I did not even make a point of 
getting his consent to its employment' (op. cit., p. 580). 


Some Points in the Physiology and Psychology of Hypnotism. — 
Authorities and their Theories. — Expectant Attention, Suggestion, 
and Inhibition. — Induction of Functional Aphasia, and what it 
teaches. — Exaggeration or Suppression of certain Senses and 
Functions in the Hypnotic State. — Automatism in Hypnotism 
and in the Pathological State. — Amnesia — Hypnotism compared 
with the Action of Poisons. — The Double Brain: its Single Action 
in Health and possible Dual Action in Disease and in the 
Hypnotic State. — Cases illustrating this. — The Induction of 
Automatism without Hypnotism. 

The study of hypnotism will doubtless do much to 
advance our knowledge of the higher brain functions, 
and it is well to bear in mind that, as the phenomena 
depend upon an induced psychical condition, they may 
not be explainable by any physiological method which we 
at present possess. Charcot, Richet, Bernheim, Heiden- 
hain, Hack Tuke, Ferrier, Hughlings Jackson, and others, 
have, however, done most useful work by building up a 
working hypothesis, which serves as a standpoint for 
future investigators. 

Expectant attention, suggestion, and inhibition are the 
processes which afford an explanation of the commonest 

Expectant attention seems to be a necessary psychical 
preparation, for an ordinary person may gaze at an object 
for an indefinite time without producing hypnosis, unless 
he expects such a result to ensue. Were this not so, 
spontaneous somnambulism would be of very common 

Brown-Sequard and other neurologists show that when 
one cerebral centre or function is used to excess, the 


others become, for the time being, paralyzed or inhibited ; 
and Dr. Maudsley says (' The Pathology of the Mind,' 
p. 58) that two nerve centres of mental function cannot 
be in equally conscious function at the same time. Con- 
tinuous stimulation of one centre implies diminished 
activity of those surrounding it — including those of higher 
cerebration : volition, attention, co-ordination of ideas, 
and memory — and causes their temporary inhibition. 
This is seen in everyday life. When reading an inter- 
esting book, we greatly exert our intellectual and emo- 
tional faculties, and consequently impressions on other 
senses are not registered or noticed. A noise in the 
street is unheard by us ; a coal may fall on the hearthrug, 
and we neither see the accident nor are affected by the 
smell of burning wool ; even bodily pain and mental 
suffering may be forgotten or benumbed while the atten- 
tion is thus absorbed. Everyone knows how gentle 
friction of a skin surface, in neuralgia or headache, 
will often act in the same way, by overstimulating one 
sensory centre, and rendering inactive that which registers 
the pain. 

Heidenhain attributes the hypnotic state to monotonous 
gentle stimulation of a sense, causing inhibition of the 
cortical cells, with consequent suspension of the higher 
cerebral functions. A monotonous sound or scene will 
thus induce drowsiness or sleep, and a sudden intense 
stimulation, such as a sudden noise or flash of light, will 
cause an awakening. This is seen at magnetic seances, 
where the sleepers are commonly aroused by the sound 
of a gong. 

Let us consider what happens when a person is pro- 
foundly hypnotized for the first time by fixation of the 
eyes upon a brilliant object. As his attention is exclusively 
directed to one sensory impression, he becomes more and 
more withdrawn from other conditions of the environ- 
ment, until at last he sees only the object, and is conscious 
of nothing else. But in time, as the optic centres become 
exhausted and cease to respond to continued stimulation, 


the visual sense likewise becomes extinct, and the subject 
is left in a condition of mental vacuity and 'senselessness.' 
He has been reduced from a state of polyideism, which is 
the normal condition of the healthy man, who is constantly 
receiving and balancing multiform impressions derived 
from all the avenues of sense, first, to a state of mono- 
ideism — the idea of a fixed image, upon which he must 
keep his eyes and attention ; and, finally, to a state of 
vacuity, in which there is complete absence of ideas. 
Into this swept and garnished chamber of the mind ideas 
can be implanted by the hypnotist ; and, as a ray of light 
thrown into a darkened room will show forth with exag- 
gerated force and brilliancy from the contrast with the 
surrounding darkness and the exclusion of conflicting rays, 
so will the idea suggested to the imagination of the pro- 
foundly hypnotized subject operate with immensely in- 
creased effect from the absence of conflicting and correc- 
tive impressions derived from the whole environment. 

As the patient, on recovering consciousness, in some 
cases may continue the speech or occupation which was 
interrupted by an injury to the brain, so the hypnotized 
person, on being aroused, will sometimes carry on a 
phrase or an action from the point at which it was 
broken off by hypnotic influence — thus showing how com- 
pletely the brain, as the organ of mind, has been paralyzed. 
But whereas in the coma of disease the paralysis is absolute 
and complete, in induced somnambulism it is partially or 
entirely removable at the command of the operator. He 
can arouse any centre to more than its normal functioning 
activity, so that the subject, who a moment before was 
insensible to the fumes of strong ammonia held close to 
his nostrils, will now recognise the faintest odour ; and he 
who now lies in a condition of muscular impotence will, 
at the word of the operator, perform extraordinary feats 
of strength. The same holds good with the expression of 
the emotions. From a state of abject misery, the subject 
may be suddenly transported to one of bliss, and be it 
noted that he shows both conditions far more markedly 


than he would do if awake ; for in the normal state our 
emotions are subject to that inhibitory influence which 
we call self-control, and which is non-existent in the 
somnambulic subject, over whom each passion, each 
emotion that is called up, has for the moment an un- 
divided sway. 

If I am told to raise my arm, the order is conveyed to 
the auditory centre, and thence referred to the ganglionic 
cells of the cortex, in which the highest functions — 
attention, volition, comparison, etc. — may be supposed to 
reside ; if endorsed by the will, it is despatched through 
the motor centres, basal ganglia and spinal cord, to the 
muscles, which perform the required action. Even if my 
will refuses to obey the order, it may happen that an 
involuntary stimulus is sent downwards, sufficient to 
cause some slight muscular movement, which, however, 
is promptly checked by the inhibitory action of the 
highest centres. But suppose the order is given in an 
imperative tone to one accustomed to obey the voice 
of authority — a soldier,* for example — it will probably be 
executed automatically, without any functioning what- 
ever of the will ; the command is referred from the 
auditory centres, where it is taken in, direct to the motor 
centres, and through the basal ganglia to the muscles of 
the arm. In such a case, a like order has been so fre- 
quently followed by its execution that the two have 
become cause and effect, and the action is automatic or 
cerebro-reflex, and almost beyond the man's control. A 
hypnotized subject is in much the same position ; his 
intellectual centres do not work, and an order suggests 
its fulfilment without, and, indeed, sometimes contrary to, 
volition and reason. 

* There is a well-known story of an old soldier who, while carrying 
home his Sunday dinner, was hailed by a practical joker, who called. 
'Attention!' His arms immediately fell into the required position, 
and the dinner rolled in the gutter. Assuredly, volition had no voice 
in this matter. 

The subjoined diagram (adapted from the ' Encyclopaedia Britannica,' 
article ' Physiology ') will assist the comprehension of voluntary and 
automatic actions. 



A severe mental shock will sometimes induce this 
automatism ; the various duties and actions of everyday 
life will then be gone through as in a dream, and often 
without leaving any recollection of their performance. A 


Ideational centre ; Vol., Volitional centre ; Em., Emotional 
centre ; Sp. S., Centres for special sensations ; Eq., Centre for 
sense of equilibrium ; Mo., Motor centre ; G. S., Centre for 
general sensation ; Inh., Inhibitory centre ; Rf., Reflex centre ; 
M., Muscle ; GL, Gland ; H. and V., Heart and Vessels. The 
lines show the association of one centre with the others, and the 
arrows indicate the direction taken by nervous impulses. Hyp- 
notism may be supposed to cut off or inhibit some of these 
associations, e.g., the volitional from the motor. 


severe blow on the head will occasionally bring about a 
like condition — as in the case of a gentleman, aged twenty- 
one, a patient of mine, who was thrown from his horse 
while hunting. He subsequently recollected riding at the 
fence at which he came to grief, but had totally forgotten 
everything that followed until the end of the run, which 
lasted for about fifteen minutes after his fall. Yet I have 
the report of eye-witnesses, who state that he was up in a 
moment, mounted his horse, and joined the field as if 
nothing had happened; but that he wore a dazed ex- 
pression, and made unintelligible answers to the remarks 
addressed to him. He is always a plucky rider, but on 
this occasion he surpassed himself, taking a dangerous 
fence which only one other horseman attempted, and 
which he would probably have avoided had his reasoning 
faculties been at work. He felt a severe pain in the 
vertex, which had been struck in his fall, and for a few 
hours remained in a somewhat dazed condition. 

There is no memory of acts done in the somnambulic 
state, because that association of centres and balancing of 
one mental function by another which constitute ideation, 
self-control, attention, volition, comparison, and memory 
are for the time being rendered inoperative. A patient 
under hypnotic influence may be compared to a com- 
plicated machine, which is thrown out of gear, and yet 
can be so adjusted that some parts can be made to act 
independently of the others. 

As regards the physical basis of the phenomena, recent 
researches in physiology enable us to form a fair working 
hypothesis. Heidenhain supposed that there must be 
anaemia of the brain, until he found that his brother could 
be hypnotized as easily as usual immediately after taking 
a physiological dose of amyl nitrite. 

Dr. Barwise thinks nitrite of amyl, by lowering the 
blood tension, leads to congestion of the membranes of 
the brain, and that these exert direct pressure on the 
contained organ, and so empty its vessels. He finds that 
his best hypnotic subjects blush readily, and that they 



commonly become flushed while being hypnotized. He 
also finds that persons may be more easily hypnotized 
if the head is bent back so as to obstruct the return of 
venous blood from the brain. He therefore supposes that 
hypnosis depends upon congestion of the membranes with 
coincident anaemia of the cerebrum.* 

Dr. Gerald Yeo, late Professor of Physiology at King's 
College, thinks Heidenhain's inference that nitrite of amyl 
causes general congestion of the brain is not a necessary 
corollary of the fact that it produces flushing of the face. 
He supposes that in hypnosis we have a condition of 
partial and local anaemia of certain areas of the cortex. 

Dr. Yeo has made a special study of hypnotism, and 
his lecture before the King's College Science Society in 
1883 was almost the first serious attempt in this country 
to bring modern physiological science to bear on the 
subject. Starting from the analogy afforded by the 
innervation of the heart, which is supplied with excitor 
and inhibitory centres, he argues that the more complex 
an organ the greater will be the need of a double check 
action, and he considers the brain the most complex of 
all the organs. He supposes that the functioning of the 
cortical cells, which forms the basis of higher cerebration, 
depends, as does the activity of other organs, upon their 
supply of blood, and to regulate their supply he infers 
the existence of centres which he calls neuro-regulatory. 
Their action is of two kinds — neuro-inhibitory and excito- 

The excito-neural centres watch over the nutrition of 
the brain cells, and are, in fact, trophic centres for the 
cortex. The neuro-regulatory centres are kept an courant 
with the condition of each organ, and its wants and 
capabilities, through thin connecting fibres ; and they act 
accordingly, either exciting or inhibiting their representa- 
tive centres in the brain. When the blood-supply is cut 
off from the cortical centres the functions of higher cere- 
bration are inhibited altogether or in part, and un- 

* Op. tit., p. 12. 


consciousness or altered conditions of consciousness 
results. Some conditions of the organism cause a re- 
sponse from the neuro-regulatory centres in the form of 
an inhibitory impulse which puts the organ or function 
represented out of action, and others, on the contrary, 
convey a dynamogenic impulse to the regulatory centres. 
The influences which cause excito-neural action are stimuli 
having a great degree of intensity, e.g., pain, noise, mental 
anxiety. The influences which produce neuro-inhibitory 
action with consequent decreased functioning of the 
cortical cells are muscular and mental fatigue (with the 
coincident accumulation of waste products), and mono- 
tonous continuous stimulation of a sensory organ. This 
stimulation causes an impulse resembling that due to 
local fatigue to be sent to the neuro-regulatory centres, 
and these respond by inhibiting the activity of the cortical 

Preyer is inclined to consider hypnosis as a cortical 
neurosis, dependent on disturbance of the functions of 
the gray matter, due either to its inhibition or excessive 
activity. He supposes that hypnotizability indicates an 
abnormal amount of instability of the cells of the highest 
centres, and that in hypnosis the nutrition of the cortex 
is altered by the accumulation in its cells of oxidizable 
waste products (lactates). Unless we can speak of normal 
sleep as a neurosis, I should object to the term being 
applied to its hypnotic analogue as confusing, and as 
somewhat committing us to a theory. 

Dr. Lehmann, lecturer on Experimental Psychology at 
the University of Copenhagen, has published the lectures 
he gave in 1889, and his book is one of the best which have 
been written on the subject. He works out very carefully 
the causation of natural sleep and the points wherein it 
differs from hypnosis. He considers that hypnosis closely 
resembles natural sleep, but differs from it in that the 
process is arrested or cut short before complete un- 
consciousness is reached. Sensation depends upon atten- 
tion, and attention implies increased supply of nutrition 



to the part of the sensorium affected. In hypnotism parts 
of the sensorium are maintained in a state of activity by 
the attention of the subject being directed to them by the 
suggestions of the operator. There is increased nutrition 
of certain centres, with corresponding innutrition of others, 
and the phenomena produced are the outcome of these 
changes in cortical nutrition. In the waking state there 
is continuous stimulation of the vaso-motor centres pro- 
ceeding from the sensorium, and cessation of mental 
activity from fatigue or other cause brings about a dis- 
continuance of the stimulation, with resulting relaxation 
and dilatation of the cerebral vessels and blood stasis. 
Lehmann points out that functional activity depends on 
the amount of blood passing through an organ, and not 
on the amount present at a given time. In hypnosis he 
supposes there is a condition of tetanic contraction affect- 
ing the bloodvessels of the active part of the brain, and 
this tonic condition leads to increased rapidity of the flow 
of blood through them, increased nutrition of the part, 
and increased functional activity. The result of blood 
stasis from withdrawal of the stimulating influences 
arriving at the vaso-motor centres from the sensorium is 
drowsiness and sleep, and in ordinary sleep this condition 
affects equally the whole of the hemispheres. In hypnosis 
it is partial, and can be modified by the suggestions of the 
hypnotist, and the subject under his direction dreams a 
series of dreams. In the transformation of the natural 
into the hypnotic sleep the subject is so far awakened by 
the voice of the hypnotist as to be enabled to act upon his 
suggestions, but not sufficiently to regain the use of all 
the faculties. See also review in Mind, July, 1891. 

Other observers consider that there is a condition of 
cramp of the arterioles of the brain ; and all are agreed 
that delicate modifications in the cerebral circulation con- 
stitute the basis of the hypnotic phenomena. We have 
probably no drug which acts exactly in the same way as 
hypnotism, otherwise we might use it as a vehicle for 
suggestion, especially in the case of patients who are 


insensible to the hypnotic influence. Cannabis indica 
presents certain analogous symptoms,* and apparently 
exposes its consumer to exaggerated susceptibility to 
suggestion. But there is this important difference. In 
hashish intoxication the suggestion is simply a natural 
sensory impression, received spontaneously, and greatly 
exaggerated. The hashish-taker sees a small sheet of 
water, and in his drug -induced dreams it becomes a 
magnificent river, a vast lake, or boundless ocean. He 
hears an Italian organ beneath his windows, and imagines 
himself listening to the orchestra at Bayreuth. 

Dr. Barwise writes (op. cit., p. 10), that when experi- 
menting with the drug on himself, he imagined the slight 
noise made by someone in turning over the pages of a 
book to be a thunderstorm. Dr. Von Schrenk Notzing 
has written an exhaustive treatise on hashish, and he 
finds that some persons while under its influence are as 
susceptible to verbal suggestion as if they were hypnotized. 
One of the men experimented on was a medical student, 
who not only obeyed all the suggestions made to him 
while under the influence of the drug, but also carried 
out suggestions made the next day (post -narcotic sug- 

* If the following story is correct (and I have no reason to doubt my 
informant), the action of chloroform may, under certain circumstances 
be considered analogous to hypnotism. At one of the large metropolitan 
hospitals there existed, about thirty years ago, a club of medical 
students, called the ' Chloroform Club,' the chief object of which was 
to test the action of narcotics, and especially of chloroform. The 
members met in each other's rooms, and consumed physiological doses 
of various drugs. On this remembered occasion chloroform was the 
narcotic chosen, and one of the members was, as usual, told off to 
keep sober and watch his companions. But the temptation proved 
too great for him, and he also inhaled a considerable dose of the poison 
Into this room full of drug-excited young men came a late member who 
was extremely unpopular with the others, and one of them shouted, 

' Here's ! Let us kill him !' The horrible suggestion at once 

took possession of the whole party. They flung themselves on the 
new-comer, and a tragedy would certainly have followed had not 
some students in another room heard the victim's cries of terror. 
They, of course, rushed in, and made a forcible rescue. The affair 
was hushed up, and the club dissolved ; but some of those who took 
part in the episode, which in its weird horror reminds one of the 
situations of Theophile Gautier, are now respected members of the 
profession, and will remember the occurrence. 


gestions), and that without having any recollection of the 
order. For example, he was told to return to Dr. Schrenk 
Notzing's house the following day, and to ask him for 
three cigarettes. This he did, and in the same awkward 
and shamefaced manner as often characterizes compliance 
with post -hypnotic suggestions ('Die Bedeutung narco- 
tischer Mittel fur den Hypnotismus,' p. 67). 

In alcoholic and other forms of intoxication, there is 
commonly an exaggerated automatic action, as seen in 
gesture, speech, and general demeanour, with correspond- 
ing inhibition of the higher and controlling centres, and 
increased readiness to act upon suggestion ; whether it be 
self-supplied by the senses, or from without, by the by- 
standers. It is known that epileptics are extremely 
susceptible to suggestion, and any action suggested to 
one immediately after an attack would probably be 
executed automatically, without volition, and without 
subsequent recollection of its performance. This point 
is noticed by Sir W. Gowers, and is interesting, as these 
subjects are peculiarly susceptible to hypnotism, perhaps 
because their cerebral centres are abnormally easy to 
dissociate and throw out of gear.* 

With our present knowledge, it seems impossible to 
explain certain phenomena connected with advanced 
hypnotism. Some of these, which have often been 
attributed to clairvoyance, are undoubtedly the result of 
exaggerated perception. The subject will, under the 
stimulation of suggestion, read figures or letters at an 
amazing distance, will distinguish persons by a sense of 
touch too delicate to exist when the other faculties are at 

* According to Richet (op. cit.), the normal sleep of young children 
is almost somnambulic, and in support of this theory he instances the 
case of his little boy, aged five, who remains profoundly asleep when 
his father goes in at night to caress him, but who murmurs a welcome 
and returns the embrace. The next morning the child is unconscious 
of what has passed. It must be the experience of all observers thar 
not only in such a matter, but in other everday occurrences, a child 
is frequently in a condition resembling hypnosis, and this perhaps 
explains the fact that children are such satisfactory subjects for 
hypnotic treatment. The balance of the faculties has not yet been 
attained, and thus readjustment is easily effected. 


work, will feel the apparently imperceptible currents of 
air set in motion by ' magnetic ' passes, and will com- 
prehend and act upon hints and whispers which are 
inaudible to the ordinary listener. Why should the 
hypnotized subject be deaf to all sounds except the voice 
of the operator, and hear and obey that voice, though it 
be but the faintest whisper, and the surrounding sounds 
a perfect babel ? The waking of a tired mother at the 
feeblest cry of her infant, though loud noises are un- 
noticed by her, and that of Nelson's signal-lieutenant at 
the word ' Signal,' though the roaring of cannon had 
failed to arouse him, may afford an analogy, if not an 

A peculiar species of phenomena is that in which a 
letter, or word, or object, is eliminated from the con- 
sciousness of the patient. For instance, A B is told that 
on awaking he is to write certain words, say ' Alexandra 
Palace,' without the letter a. He will do this, and in so 
rapid and business-like a manner that the observer (who 
had better try to do the like) must be convinced of the 
genuineness of the experiment. Or he is forbidden to 
use the pronoun /, when he will be at extraordinary pains 
to avoid the word, and will not once be betrayed into 
employing it, though, as in the case reported by Max 
Dessoir, he may use its equivalent in some foreign 
language. The subject may be wide awake and per- 
fectly reasonable in all other respects, but this idee fixe is 
firmly implanted in his mind, though he is absolutely 
unaware of its presence. If shown his copy in which the 
letter a or the pronoun / is missing, he will see nothing 
wrong about it, and the delusion remains until he is told 
to return to his usual state, when the absurdity of the 
thing will be at once apparent, and he will perhaps deny 
having written the incorrect words or sentences. 

Several varieties of aphasia may be functionally induced 
by suggestion. The subject may be rendered incapable 
of uttering a sound (complete motor aphasia), or can be 
made to reply to every question by a meaningless for- 


inula, as in some of the pathological cases cited by 
Trousseau and by Gowers. He may be conscious or un- 
conscious of the absurdity, just as in the pathological 
entity, and the condition may be modified in various 
directions. He may, for instance, be unable to pronounce 
the letter e, but able to write it, or vice versa. We know 
that aphasia may occur from functional causes, as from a 
strong emotion, when one is rendered speechless by terror, 
indignation, or overwhelming joy or surprise ;* and the 
induced aphasia of hypnotism seems to resemble this 
variety rather than that which sometimes occurs in the 
course of typhoid fever and from reflex disturbances. 
The subject is well worth the attention of physiologists, 
and its study may throw light on some morbid conditions 
connected with speech. The differentiation is very much 
finer than anything of this nature to be seen in disease, 
and requires correspondingly fine analysis. Dr. Gowers 
remarks on the deficiency of facts and the redundancy of 
theories connected with this subject. Hypnotic experi- 
ments may help to increase the former and prove or dis- 
prove the latter.t 

Violent emotion may cause other effects than transient 
loss of speech. Charcot I gives the case of an intelligent 
man, who, after a violent paroxysm of rage, lost the 
memory of visual impressions. Though he could see 
objects, they all appeared strange to him, and he could 

* Dr. Ireland (op. tit, p. 273) cites a case of sudden ^7/7 of speech 
under the influence of exciting emotion. A well-known merchant in 
London had a son about eight years of age who was perfectly dumb, 
so that all hope of his ever speaking had long been abandoned. The 
boy was intelligent, and had no other infirmity. During a water-party 
on the Thames the father fell overboard, and the hitherto dumb boy 
cried out : ' Oh, save him, save him !' From that moment he spoke 
nearly as well as his brother-, and afterwards became an active partner 
in his father's business. 

t By hypnotic suggestion reading may be rendered impossible 
(alexia). The subject may also be made incapable of writing 
(agraphia), and can even be prevented from expressing himself by 
signs (amimia). Sewing, drawing, and indeed every action, may be 
tabooed bv the same means. (See ' Der Hypnotismus.' by Dr. A. 
Moll, p 92, Berlin, 1889.) 

+ Quoted in Landois and Stirling's ' Physiology.' 


not recognise his friends, nor even his own face in the 
glass. Injury to certain parts of the brain, especially the 
lower parietal lobe, may induce this 'psychical' or 'mind' 
blindness, and this condition can be exactly simulated by 
suggesting it to a sufficiently sensitive hypnotized subject. 
The association between the visual centre and the higher 
intellectual centres in which memory resides is inhibited 
in both cases.* 

That suggestion acts by partially or wholly inhibiting 
the perceptive centres seems demonstrable ; but how it 
does this cannot at present be explained. There is, of 
course, great scope for self-deception in hypnotic experi- 
ments ; but if subjects of proved integrity are chosen 
(hysterical women and young boys are not so trustworthy 
as intelligent artisans), and if they are kept in ignorance 
of the phenomena which the operator desires to obtain, 
simulation need hardly be feared. Negative hallucina- 
tion, as described on p. 339, is a complex condition, 
which I cannot explain, as some would do, by calling it 
mere clever acting. Sometimes, indeed, I suspect uncon- 
scious simulation on the part of the patient, as in the case 
of E. H , who, when told not to see Dr. F , care- 
fully avoided looking in his direction, and refused to 
answer when he spoke to her, except once, when she looked 
puzzled, and answered him while looking towards me. 

She assured me that Dr. F was not in the room, but 

had been called away to see a patient ; this I had suggested 
to her in the hypnotic sleep. On being told by me 

to see Dr. F , she immediately looked at him, and 

expressed surprise at his sudden return. But in most 
cases the blotting out is complete, and the subject may 
even be pinched or pricked by the person designated as 

* Partial or complete loss or impairment of all the special senses 
may be induced in a similar way by suggestion ; e.g., the subject may 
be rendered unable to perceive the odour of violets, while noticing all 
other scents, or to see red, while other colours remain distinct. The 
hypothesis that certain cells of the cortical perceptive centres are 
differentiated in the process of evolution to react to the special stimulus 
of certain sounds, odours, or colours, and that these are inhibited, is a 
tempting one. 


invisible without feeling anything, and the invisibility may 
be extended to any article which he (the subject) takes in 
his hand. 

The induction by suggestion alone of pseudo-paralysis in 

a limb is a curious phenomenon. I can say to E. F , 

whom I have frequently put into a state of advanced 
somnambulism, ' You cannot move that arm or that leg,' 
and so evoke the idea of powerlessness, that for a few 
minutes the limb remains motionless ; then with a sensa- 
tion as of ' pins and needles,' power comes back to it, and 
she can move it freely. Max Dessoir describes how he 
influenced a postman whom he could not hypnotize in 
any usual way. He told him to make the movements 
required in stamping letters, and when he had done this 
for some minutes, cried in an authoritative tone, ' Now 
you cannot stop doing that !' The idea was fixed in the 
man's mind, and, in fact, he could not leave off. During 
his performance of an act that with him had become 
automatic, the higher centres, being inactive, were easily 
inhibited, and the hypnotic condition was then induced 
by suggestion. I have frequently seen Dr. Arthur hypno- 
tize his patients by telling them to listen to his watch 
ticking, and the sound will send them to sleep. I some- 
times use this method in persons whose sight is weak 
or defective. At Nancy, Bernheim has almost given up 
fixation of the eyes, and relies upon verbal suggestion 
alone. The patient, lying with closed eyes, hears the 
doctor's somniferous suggestions, and generally falls very 
quickly into the hypnotic sleep. 

The case of Mrs. M , a hospital nurse, is typical and 

interesting. She was first hypnotized by me in October, 
1888, and since then I have hypnotized her frequently 
— perhaps two hundred times — generally to demonstrate 
various phenomena to medical friends. She is a person 
of little education, but has good natural ability, and is a 
clever nurse. I find her a somnambulist of an advanced 
type, with no memory on waking of what has occurred 
during the hypnotic sleep. As she was a good and 


willing subject, I used to get her to obey my suggestions 
post-hypnotically ; but on one occasion she took offence 
at some remark of a bystander, and told me she would 
never again do anything of the kind. Henceforth her 
reply was always No when I asked her to do anything on 
waking, and such suggestions were never carried out. 
After some months, however, I persuaded her to withdraw 
her opposition, and she now again goes through the little 
tests which I propose. I find, as Binet and Fere have 
observed in some of their cases, that this subject is quite 
unconscious of obeying any initiative except her own,* 
and invariably finds some reason for her conduct. For 
instance, she is told to move a lamp from one table to 
another, and if asked why she has done so, she replies 
that she thought it would look better in another place, or 
give some such plausible excuse. No one could be more 
surprised than she is when told that she has simply 
obeyed an order. And as in dreams no commands given 
seem ridiculous, and hardly any are deemed impossible to 
fulfil, so it is with such ' advanced ' hypnotic subjects. 

Nevertheless, Mrs. M 's resistance to suggestion seems 

to show that some personal control is maintained, and 
her intelligent replies to questions demanding calculation 
arid reasoning, such as, ' What is the best route to the 
city ? How much time is required to get there ?' imply 
some working of the higher faculties. 

Dr. F , a foreign physician of much experience, 

attempted in my presence to hypnotize this subject. 
Without being aware of it, she was protected by my 
having frequently told her, while she was in the hypnotic 
state, that she must allow no one except myself to send 
her to sleep. Dr. F — — 's attempt to do so made her 
uncomfortable, but not at all sleepy, until I told her that 
she was to be influenced by him. My embargo thus 
removed, a few minutes sufficed to induce her usual state 
of profound somnambulism, in which she was anaesthetic 

* Dr. Auguste Forel records, also, the same experience. ' Der 
Hypnotismus,' etc., p. 31, Stuttgart, 1889. 


and insensible to her surroundings. I now spoke to her, 

and she gave no reply, until Dr. F told her to do so, 

when she immediately answered my questions (vide note, 
pp. 121, 122). 

There is another curious phenomenon obtainable with 
the above-mentioned subject, as well as with many other 
somnambulists — a compulsory automatic action brought 
about and maintained by suggestion without hypnotism.* 

Thus, I set Mrs. M to perform the action of 

' twiddling her thumbs,' and tell her that she is unable 
to discontinue it. Though she laughs and protests, and 
is apparently in full possession of her faculties, she can- 
not leave off the movement until I give her permission to 
do so. 

Dr. Ireland, writing on the double brain (op. cit.), 
quotes largely from Dr. Edgar Berillon's book.t This 
author certainly has the courage of his convictions, for 
after giving many examples of the double-brain action, he 
records experiments which satisfy him that through the 
agency of hypnotism we can induce this double action. 
For instance, he will speak into the right ear of a subject 
in a profound state of hypnosis, and describe to her an 
amusing scene at a theatre ; then into the other ear he 
will pour some tragic tale. The right side of the face 
will express pleasurable feelings, whereas the left side 
will, at the same time, wear a look of grief or terror. 
Dr. Berillon defies anyone in an ordinary state of health, 
or even in hysteria, thus to produce the simultaneous 
expression of a double set of emotions. He makes the 
following inductions : ' 1. That hypnotism can suppress 
the physical motor and sensory activity of one hemisphere 
of the brain. 2. That it can give to each hemisphere a 
different degree of activity. 3. That the two hemispheres 
having an equal degree of activity, we can create for them 

* Dr. A. Moll (op. cit., pp. 192, 193) is of opinion that such obedi- 
ence generally implies a slight degree of hypnosis, induced by the 
mere command in a susceptible subject. 

t ' Hypnotisme Experimental, la Dualite" Ce're'brale. et 1' Indepen- 
dence fonctionnel des deux Hemispheres Cerdbraux,' Paris, 1884. 


at the same time manifestations varying in their seat, 
their nature, and their character.' 

That a transference of functional activity from one side 
of the brain to the other may sometimes be effected by 

hypnotism seems to be shown by the case of Louis V 

(described on p. 91). This subject was easily hypnotized, 
and in the hypnotic state would lose the right hemiplegia 
from which he was suffering, and walk quite naturally. 
When he was hypnotized, both his eyes were shut, as in 
natural sleep ; and if either of them was forcibly opened 
the corresponding side of his body became cataleptic, 
while if both were opened the whole body took on this 
condition. If the right eye was opened while he was 
talking or reciting in the hypnotic state, he not only 
became cataleptic on the right side, but also aphasic, 
and the physician in attendance, Dr. Jules Voisin, came 
to the conclusion that this action produced an inhibitory 
effect on the left hemisphere, and consequently and in- 
clusively on the normal centre of speech. When the eye 
was again closed, he took up his speaking or reciting 
where he had left off. The opening of his left eye in his 
' first state ' had no effect on his speech; but in his ' second 
stage,' during which his words and mode of expression 
were extremely childish, opening the left eye stopped 
speech, whereas opening the right eye produced no effect. 
This, according to Dr. Voisin's theory, supported to a 
certain extent by Drs. Burot and Bourru, showed that 
the speech centre had shifted sides. In his ' first state ' 

Louis Y used chiefly the left hemisphere of his brain, 

and in his 'second state' the right hemisphere, which, 
being less educated than the other, accounted for the 
imperfect character of the speech produced during its 

Dr. W. Ireland,* in his interesting volume of essays 
dealing with abnormal mental conditions, gives some 
curious examples of double consciousness occurring in 
the course of disease and from poisoning. He refers to 

* ' The Blot on the Brain,' Edinburgh, 1885. 


hashish-eaters being sometimes conscious of a double in- 
dividuality, and quotes the well-known case of a drunken 
porter who, when sober, used entirely to forget where he 
had left his parcels, and remembered it only when he was 
again intoxicated — that is, when the brain was again in the 
same specific state which it had been in when he com- 
mitted the action. Dr. Ireland also mentions the sensa- 
tion of double personality sometimes experienced by a 
person suffering from severe illness, who has appeared to 
himself as two different individuals, one of whom suffered, 
while the other looked on and pitied him. 

Draper, in his work on Physiology, refers to this point, 
and remarks that one never experiences three consecutive 
trains of thought, for the ver)' good reason that our brains 
possess only two hemispheres. He considers that the 
two sides may sometimes act independently, and even in- 
harmoniously, and thinks that double cerebration may be 
thus explained. Thus we may follow out a train of 
thought while giving a fair amount of attention to an 
address or sermon, or we may even be able, like Mr. 
Barkworth, of the Society for Psychical Research, to carry 
on an ordinary conversation while adding up a double 
column of figures. Of course the theory of a double 
action of the cerebral hemispheres need not be invoked to 
explain such everyday occurrences as being able to play 
the violin or piano whilst carrying on a conversation. 
Practised musicians can, we know, play difficult music 
while engaged in conversation, just as artists are able to 
talk to their sitters while painting them. But we need 
not invoke the theory of dual brain action to explain this, 
any more than we require it to explain how it is a semp- 
stress can ply her needle and sing the while. In these 
cases continued practice has made the special movements 
of eye and hand automatic, and there is no question of 
employing the functions of higher cerebration. When the 
artist comes to a difficult passage or piece of work, he is 
seen to become silent and to devote all his faculties to its 
elaboration. The associated group of centres require the 


control and leadership of the highest nervous arrange- 

The brain is, of course, a double organ, anatomically 
and physiologically, and though in normal life the two 
hemispheres are so functionally associated that they act 
as one, such cases as those I have cited seem to show 
what most observers are agreed in concluding, that under 
certain conditions the partnership may be dissolved, and 
one side may act independently of the other. In some 
cases of insanity the patient has been observed to ask 
questions and reply to them, as in two different capacities, 
and Dr. Ireland supposes that in such instances the two 
hemispheres are acting alternately. He suggests that the 
existence of such conditions may prove a key to the ex- 
planation of many cases of ' spirit-possession ' and hallu- 

The left hemisphere is much more used than the right, 
and in general is proportionately more developed, though 
in left-handed persons the reverse is said to be the case. 
But although we may ordinarily use only one-half of our 
brain for certain actions, we can sometimes, in case of 
necessity, educate the neglected half to act when the other 
is injured. We may thus explain those curious instances 
in which, after an illness, previous education is forgotten, 
and the patient has laboriously to learn everything over 
again — to re-educate his brain, or rather to educate that 
portion of it which hitherto has been comparatively un- 
used. Hypnotic suggestion, circumspectly used, might 
doubtless afford valuable assistance in such brain 

The dissociation of the two sides of the brain, and the 
transference of preponderating influence from one to the 
other, certainly seems to afford a plausible explanation 
of many of the phenomena of advanced hypnotism. But 
it is not so easy to attribute to this dissociation and 
transference the therapeutic and other effects observable 
in the minor degrees of hypnotic influence with which the 
practitioners of the Nancy school are satisfied. Physio- 


logical theories change as knowledge increases, and when 
the}- are proved to be erroneous they are apt to drag down 
in their fall the practice which has been founded upon 
them. Therefore, while avoiding mere empiricism, it is 
safer not to depend too much on any as yet unverified 
theory of hypnotic suggestion. Within the next few years 
a flood of light will probably be thrown upon this subject. 


Reality of Hypnotic Phenomena. — Simulation Tests. — Practical 
Directions for Medical Hypnotism. — Absence of Personal Element 
in the Nancy Treatment. — Method of Fascination. — Voisin's 
Success in Lunacy. — Forel's Opinion of the Treatment. — Some 
Diseased Conditions benefited by Hypnotism. — Medical Educa- 
tion essential for its successful Practice. — Aids to Hypnotism. 

To the believer in the scientific certainty and therapeutic 
value of hypnotic suggestion, it is somewhat trying to be 
told, as he sometimes is, that the whole thing rests upon 
a foundation of error or misrepresentation. Sceptics, we 
find, divide themselves naturally into two classes : those 
who entirely deny the existence of the hypnotic state, or 
affirm that its production is so rare as to be hardly worth 
taking into account ; and those who, while they acknow- 
ledge the reality of the psychical condition, refuse to believe 
in its utility as a remedial agent. 

The former are a diminishing quantity, and must soon 
succumb under the accumulating evidence adduced by 
such scientists as Charcot, Richet, Hack Tuke, Moll, 
Heidenhain, Krafft-Ebing, Preyer, Beaunis, Tamburini, 
Lombroso, Bramwell, Myers, etc. 

The attitude of the latter class is comprehensible and, 
indeed, natural ; and it is right that the guardians of the 
public health should exercise a healthy scepticism and 
demand convincing evidence before approving a treatment 
of this kind, or admitting it into their practice. 

The work of such practical observers and clinicians as 
Bernheim and Liebeault of Nancy, Voisin, Berillon, 
Dumontpallier of Paris, Von Schrenk-Notzing of Munich, 



Van Renterghem and Van Eeden of Amsterdam, Albert 
Moll of Berlin, Wetterstrand of Stockholm, Cruise of 
Dublin, Bramwell and Woods of London, etc., will soon 
supply the necessary therapeutic testimony — if, indeed, it 
has not already done so — and we shall see hypnotic 
suggestion take its place in the armamentarium of the 
medical practitioner in spite of the difficulties thrown in 
its way by charlatanism and impostors past and present. 

The argumcntum ad hominem is, as Richet* tells us, 
undoubtedly the best to use ; and as medical men are 
often excellent subjects, it has sometimes been my good 
fortune to convince a friend, and at the same time benefit 
a patient, by putting a member of our profession into one 
or other stage of the hypnotic state. 

That simulation and imposture are frequently practised 
at public ' entertainments,' I am not concerned to deny, 
though it is easier to procure a genuinely susceptible 
subject than to take the trouble of training a confederate. 
Public performers are generally careful to have with them 
some subjects whom they have frequently hypnotized, so 
as to be prepared for contingencies. 

One must admit that the desire to please and to appear 
interesting will, especially among hospital patients, lead 
to a good deal of simulation, intentional or unintentional. 
But in private practice and among intelligent patients, 
simulation is a bugbear of which we need take little 
account. With experience, too, comes the ability to 
detect deception, and the practised hypnotist is on the 
watch for it,t and is very acute in perceiving its slightest 
tokens. And, in fact, the patient is, as a rule, more rather 
than less influenced than he supposes. He will frequently 
say that he has in no way lost control over his thoughts 
and actions, and will be surprised to find that he cannot 

* ' L'Homme et l'lntelligence.' 

t Charcot has devised an ingenious instrument, by means of which 
the tracings given by the involuntary movements of the arm in simu- 
lated catalepsy can be compared with the very regular and even tracing 
made on a revolving cylinder when the subject is in the genuine 
hypnotic state. This contrivance may prove useful in the detection of 
fraud. {Vide ' Diseases of the Nervous System,' vol. iii.) 


open his eyes, or that his arm has become immovable at 
the operator's bidding. The very way in which he tries 
to open his eyes is characteristic of an altered condition. 
Instead of using the levator palpebrarum, he wrinkles his 
brows and energetically employs the frontalis. If at last 
he succeeds, it is only after great exertion, and the eyelid 
opens in a peculiarly slow and heavy manner. In the 
same way, if, after being a little more influenced, he is 
told that he cannot bend or otherwise move his arm, he 
will make violent efforts to do so with the wrong set of 
muscles, and will perhaps at last, with difficulty, effect a 
partial and jerky movement in the desired direction. 

It is but fair to ask one's self, Why should a patient 
make pretence about hypnotism any more than about 
other medical procedures ? If we give a prescription to 
remove neuralgia or rheumatic pains, we do not accuse 
our patient of simulation when he returns and tells us 
that the mistura ferri or sodce salicylas has relieved or 
cured him, but rather attribute this good result to our 
remedy, and congratulate ourselves on its success. The 
therapeutic test is a perfectly fair and correct one, and as 
it is neither necessary nor desirable to produce the physio- 
logical action of drugs when we give them as curative 
agents, so it is needless to evoke or expect the phenomena 
of le grand hypnotisme in cases where we use suggestion as 
a remedy. A knowledge of the physiological action of a 
drug is necessary, as, without such knowledge, we should 
be using it empirically ; and a familiarity with the pheno- 
mena of advanced hypnotism furnishes us with a key to 
the action of suggestion, as in the phenomena of poisons 
we find one to the action of drugs. 

The method I usually adopt to produce the hypnotic 
state is that practised by Liebeault, and is undoubtedly 
the easiest and most rapid. The treatment is psychical, 
and attention to detail is absolutely necessary to success. 
The existence in the patient of any opposing idea, as of 
fear — or of a spirit of ridicule, or of decided hostility — or 
a consciousness of bodily discomfort, will render futile all 

10 — 2 


attempts to hypnotize him — at least, at the first trial. His 
mind must be at rest, his position comfortable, and the 
environment should be such as would favour the advent of 
ordinary sleep. It is sometimes helpful to hypnotize one 
or two patients in the presence of a newcomer, so as to 
arouse his imitative faculty and dissipate any nervous 
feeling he may have. And some friend should always be 
present during the entire operation. 

The patient reclines on a couch or in an easy-chair, 
and I stand or sit beside him, and hold the first two 
fingers of one hand at a distance of about twelve inches 
from his eyes, at such an angle that his gaze shall be 
directed upwards in a strained manner. I direct him to 
look steadily at the tips of those fingers, and to make his 
mind as nearly blank as possible. After he has stared 
fixedly for about half a minute, his expression will undergo 
a change — a far-away look coming into his face. His pupils 
will contract and dilate several times, and his eyelids will 
twitch spasmodically. These signs indicate a commencing 
induction of the desired psychical condition. If the eye- 
lids do not close spontaneously, I shut them gently, and 
the progress of sleep is generally helped by verbal sug- 
gestions, such as : ' Your eyes are becoming heavy ; they 
are getting more and more heavy ; my fingers seem in- 
distinct to you ' (this when the pupils are observed to 
dilate or contract) ; ' a numbness is stealing over your 
limbs ; you will be fast asleep in a few minutes ; now 
sleep.' It is sometimes an assistance to lay one's hand 
gently but firmly on the forehead. 

In ordinary cases, the operator will find that the 
hypnotic condition has by this method been induced in 
from one to three minutes, and he may now ascertain 
what degree has been arrived at. This depends chiefly, if 
not entirely, on the temperament of the subject, and I 
consider it impossible to foretell with any certainty what 
stage of hypnotism will be reached by any person who 
has never yet been hypnotized. I do not, as a rule, make 
many suggestions at a first sitting, but I gently rub the 


epigastrium and suggest a feeling of warmth in that part 
of the body, a general sensation of comfort and well- 
being, and an agreeable awakening. After a few minutes 
I tell the patient that he has rested long enough, and that 
he can open his eyes and arouse himself. He generally 
obeys at once, and says that he feels refreshed and com- 
fortable. I ask him what he remembers of his few 
minutes' rest, and he generally tells me that he has heard 
every word I said to him, and also any other sound that 
there may have been, but he adds that he felt a great 
disinclination to move or speak until he was told to open 
his eyes. He finds the feeling of warmth, induced by 
suggestion and by gentle friction of the abdomen, very 
marked, and this sensation will probably continue for 
several hours. He is perfectly awake and quite himself 
before he leaves the house. 

The feeling of warmth is an important symptom, and 
Dr. Liebeault is invariably confident of doing good to the 
patient in whom he can produce it, if the malady is a 
tractable one. Magnetizers naturally attribute this sen- 
sation to the passage of the magnetic fluid from the 
operator to his patient, but it seems to arise from stimu- 
lation by suggestion of the vaso-motor centres, and from 
a transmission to the part of increased nerve and blood 
supply. A sensation of cold can often be substituted by 
suggestion for one of warmth, as I have seen in cases of 
gastric ulcer and of congestive headache ; in such a case 
the physiological process is perhaps reversed. Suggestion 
without contact would probably suffice to produce this 
local action ; and there is no doubt that friction with a 
book or other small article has generally the same effect 
as hand-friction. 

On a second visit, the patient will usually enter the 
hypnotic state more rapidly, and its degree will very 
likely be found intensified. Therapeutic suggestions may 
now be made, or, if it is desired, the extent of hypnotic 
influence may be tested. This is generally done by first 
raising the arm at an angle to the body, and telling the 


patient to keep it there. If the cataleptic state has been 
reached, it becomes stiff and rigid in that position, and 
will remain in it for an indefinite time, corresponding to 
the subject's muscular development. If the arm shows no 
tendency to drop, a rotary motion may be given to it, and 
the patient told to continue this movement. If the third 
degree is reached, he will do so until he is ordered to 
desist. The tests of somnambulism may now be applied. 
The first of these is to speak to the patient and get him 
to reply. Another person is then told to address him, 
and if the questions he may put fail to elicit any response, 
it will be evident that the subject is en rapport with the 
operator only, and other tests may be used, such as 
tickling the nostrils with a feather to demonstrate that 
anaesthesia exists, and prove the depth of somnambulism. 
Finally, if all these tests point to decided somnambulism, 
post-hypnotic suggestions may be made. The patient 
may, for instance, be told to sit on a certain chair, to 
open some book at a particular page, or to write a sen- 
tence leaving out a specified letter. Negative hallucina- 
tions, delusions of the senses, etc., can also be suggested. 
I need hardly insist that such tests and experiments are 
quite inadmissible without the previous consent of the 
patient and the presence of his friends. 

The patients who attend Dr. Liebeault's clinique are 
desirous and eager for the treatment, and he and Professor 
Bernheim have the advantage of possessing their faith 
and co-operation. It is, I believe, essential to have the 
patient's confidence, and the time spent in acquiring this 
previous to commencing operations is well employed. 
Failure in obtaining the patient's good-will may not only 
prevent success, but may even cause the process to pro- 
duce an aggravation of the symptoms. I have had the 
opportunity of noticing this on several occasions, and 
now never attempt to hypnotize without having the free 
consent of the person most interested. Neglect of this 
precaution led to some trouble in one of my early cases. 
A physician asked me to hypnotize one of his patients, a 


young lady suffering from chorea. She expressed a dis- 
like to the treatment, and only gave an unwilling consent 
to it being tried after a great deal of argument. She was 
susceptible to a certain extent, but her sleep was irregular 
in character and very disturbed. When she awoke the 
choreic movements were decidedly worse ; on each sub- 
sequent occasion a similar process had to be gone through, 
and no good result ever followed. When left alone she 
got well without treatment in a few weeks, and then took 
her revenge on me and hypnotism by writing letters about 
it to the papers ! In these she stated that she had 
struggled with might and main, and with partial success, 
to retain consciousness, as she disliked the process, and 
did not believe in its utility ; thus showing that the very 
first conditions of success were wanting in her case. Of 
course, I refer to the Nancy method of hypnotizing by 
' persuasion,' as it is well called. There is another method 
employed by many of the platform operators and by some 
medical men under special circumstances — hypnotism by 
fright or compulsion. The state thus induced is akin to 
that produced in animals and in man by sudden fright or 
shock ; and it resembles hypnosis, and may pass into it. 
Preyer calls this state cataplexy. Charcot's cataleptic 
state, produced by the sound of a gong or by the flash- 
ing of a brilliant light, corresponds to this state, and 
resembles the condition of a person surprised by a train 
at a railway-crossing, or transfixed with terror by an 
appalling sight, e.g., the Head of Medusa in the shield of 

Hypnotism, as I have already said, is merely a psychical 
preparation or vehicle for suggestion, and this condition 
being induced, it remains for the treatment to be applied. 
The suggestions vary, of course, with the nature of the 
malady to be treated. If headache is the chief symptom, 

* Livingstone has recorded his sensations when in the clutches of 
the lion which lacerated his arm and was very near killing him. He 
says he felt no pain and was conscious of no fear while his eyes were 
riveted on those of the enraged animal. In fact, the emotional centres 
were inhibited, and he was practically hypnotized. 


the head is gently rubbed, while the disappearance of the 
pain and its non-reappearance are suggested. If sciatica, 
the course of the sciatic nerve is rubbed, and the substi- 
tution of warmth for pain is suggested. If insomnia, the 
patient is told to feel sleepy at a certain time, and to sleep 
steadily through the night. If constipation, a motion is 
suggested at a specified hour — for instance, after breakfast. 
In treating rheumatic affections, the parts are well rubbed 
and the joints and muscles exercised by movements. In 
neurasthenia and spinal irritation, the spine is rubbed and 
kneaded. In cases of amenorrhea, the advent of the period 
is suggested at the time when, by inquiry, it is found to be 

In moral cases, such as dipsomania, a dislike of stimu- 
lants and a freedom from craving or discomfort is sug- 
gested, as also are self-control and a desire for cure. The 
training and tact of the physician find full scope in the 
application of suitable suggestions, and also in the recog- 
nition of the amenability of a case to this treatment. 

The results are often more pronounced and more rapid 
than in most lines of treatment, and a patient may awake 
relieved or cured of a long-standing pain or loss of func- 
tion ; but it is well that neither patient nor physician 
should expect too much, and marvellous cures are apt to 
be short-lived. There should, however, be a steady im- 
provement from day to day, and if, after a few trials, no 
change is observable, I generally give up the case, as being 
unsuited for the treatment. Dr. Liebeault allows only a 
few minutes for each case, but in many instances it seems 
to me desirable to let the patient rest for twenty minutes 
or longer, for we may well suppose that during that period 
suggestions are working under a favourable condition of 
the nervous system.* The treatment should be repeated 

* Professor Wood, of Philadelphia, writing to the Lancet, January 1 1 , 
1890, on hypnotic suggestion, which he has recently studied in Paris, 
and has introduced into his hospital practice, seems to consider that 
the hypnotic sleep alone is frequently sufficient to promote cure, and 
to think that Bernheim is wrong in attributing everything to 'sugges- 
tion.' I entirely agree with Dr. Wood that in certain cases of hysteria 


at intervals of not more than two or three days ; other- 
wise incipient improvement may be checked by a fresh 

I find improvement progressive, and cure permanent 
when once achieved. But in many patients there is a 
tendency to give up when a certain amount of progress 
has been made ; and this tendency should be strenuously 
combated. In moral cases, it is absolutely necessary to 
have the patient under trustworthy observation, so as to 
guard against deception and relapse. I now refuse to 
treat such cases unless the friends are able to give proper 
supervision ; and even after the cure appears complete, 
the patient, so I consider, should be told to report himself 
at regular intervals for at least a year, for repetition and 
reinforcement of the suggestion. 

My practice is to make three or four attempts to 
hypnotize, and if no effect is produced I feel that the 
subject is not susceptible. In this respect I confess I 
lack the confidence and perseverance of Dr. Moll, who 
seems to think that everyone can be hypnotized, by one 
method or another, in course of time. He relates how 
he tried one patient forty times ! Dr. Milne Bramwell 
reports cases in which he has succeeded in inducing 
somnambulism after the patient has proved absolutely 
insusceptible fifty, sixty, and even seventy times — an 
experience which speaks equally for the faith and per- 
tinacity of patient and physician. I have occasionally, in 
special cases, made five or six attempts, but so far I have 
almost invariably found that if no effect is produced at the 
third sitting, it is useless making further efforts — at least, 

and nervous exhaustion and irritability the physiological rest enjoyed 
during hypnosis is a powerful and, perhaps, sufficient factor in the 
cure ; but it is impossible, even in these cases, to eliminate curative 
suggestion, for where it is not expressed by the physician it is under- 
stood and supplied by auto-suggestion by the patient. Dr. Wood's 
remark that the atmosphere of the Nancy and Paris hospitals is 
' heavy with faith ' applies, fortunately, to all institutions where cure- 
work is carried on. In London, at present, we have not the advantage 
of this meteorological condition, but the results are sufficiently satis- 
factory in suitable cases. 


for some time to come. It is quite probable that circum- 
stances may change, and subsequent attempts be successful. 
I know one lady who has suffered intolerable pain from 
occipital neuralgia for six years, and who consulted me 
about two years ago with a view to trying hypnotism. 

I tried six or seven times to hypnotize her, but was 
unsuccessful. I then advised her to put herself under 
Dr. Auguste Voisin, of Paris. He endeavoured to 
hypnotize her on thirty-five occasions, but failed, though 
he employed chloroform as an auxiliary. On her return 
to England I again made some futile attempts, and then 
sent her to Dr. Milne Bramwell, who then lived at Goole. 
He and his partner tried about 150 times, and at length 
succeeded in inducing partial catalepsy and sensation of 
numbness in one arm. But the patient could always open 
the eyes, and the pain was little, if at all, relieved. She 
writes to me that she has now been operated upon about 
210 times, and expresses her intention of continuing the 
treatment, as it seems to offer more chance of relief than 
anything else she has tried. The lady is remarkably 
bright and intelligent, and one can only suppose that the 
intense and long-continued pain has made it impossible 
for her to attain the necessary abstraction of thought. 

Dr. Bramwell mentions one case in which he was suc- 
cessful in hypnotizing a patient after having failed to 
influence her in sixty-five previous attempts. The patience 
of both parties was rewarded by the lady being very soon 
cured by hypnotic suggestion of pruritis vulvae, which had 
defied treatment for several years.* 

One frequently finds the degree of hypnotic effect varies. 

For instance, I hypnotized Mr. R in November, 1888, 

and noticed that he fell into the fourth stage. He was 
suffering from chronic bronchitis, and was in a low, 
depressed state of vitality generally. Subsequently I 
could never induce more than the second degree, for as 
his health improved he became less susceptible. 

As regards personal qualification, I should say that tact 

* British Medical Journal, February 28, 1891. 


and confidence are the only requirements. Different 
patients require to be approached in different ways, and 
the somewhat imperious tone which is necessary in some 
cases would arouse fatal antagonism in others. 

The education and training of a medical man naturally 
tend to the development of these qualities, and from my 
experience I believe that any medical man can, with a 
little practice, succeed in hypnotizing the majority of 
patients. Anyone can hypnotize some people, and there 
are others whom, practically, no one can influence. Be- 
tween these extremes lies a third and comparatively small 
class, with whom it requires experience and practice to 
succeed, and it is the management of these cases which 
requires most time and patience. Doctors who have 
known nothing of hypnotism, except that they have seen 
me hypnotize two or three patients, have frequently gone 
home and at once been able to hypnotize their wives, 
children, and servants, and have only been stopped in 
their run of success by meeting a case altogether insus- 
ceptible or requiring very careful management. Dr. 
Bernheim in his Hospital Clinique, claims over 90 per 
cent, of successes, and four-fifths of the patients fall into 
profound sleep or somnambulism, whereas in his private 
practice this is altered in a remarkable degree, for though 
nearly the same percentage are influenced, only one-fifth 
or one-sixth fall into profound sleep without recollection 
on waking. The French seem slightly more susceptible 
than other nationalities, but Forel, at Zurich, Ladame, at 
Geneva, Moll, at Berlin, Van Eeden and Van Renterghem, 
at Amsterdam, Wetterstrand, at Stockholm, Tokarsky, at 
Moscow, Hamilton Osgood, in Boston, U.S.A., and other 
practitioners all over the world obtain nearly as good 

Perhaps the most successful hypnotic clinique in exist- 
ence is that of Dr. Wetterstrand, of Stockholm. Dr. 

* Cory says (' Hypnotism and Mesmerism,' Boston, 1888) that he 
has never succeeded in hypnotizing a Chinese, though he has experi- 
mented on several. The Orientals I have treated have mostly been 
good subjects. 


Forel, of Zurich, who has visited Stockholm, has described 
to me his method of procedure, and has published an 
account of what he saw in a recent work.* 

His two large reception-rooms are luxuriously furnished, 
and in them are a number of comfortable arm-chairs and 
sofas. From nine till one daily patients crowd in, and each 
one in turn is carefully examined by Dr. Wetterstrand. 
Only such cases as he considers suited are selected for the 
treatment, and the others are sent away with ordinary 
prescriptions and directions. Those selected for hypnotic 
treatment are admitted into the reception-rooms and told to 
rest quietly and watch the procedure on the other patients. 
All around him the visitor sees other patients comfortably 
reclining in different stages of hypnotic sleep, and the 
whole atmosphere of the place is full of drowsy associa- 
tions and suggestions of cure. When Dr. Wetterstrand 
comes to him he is already half asleep, and his mind is 
fully prepared to act upon the suggestions made to him. 
Ordinary suggestions, such as tend to deepen the sleep 
and produce feelings of general rest and comfort, are 
made aloud for everyone to hear, but the particular sug- 
gestions applicable to each individual case are given in a 
whisper by the doctor speaking into the patient's ear. It 
will be remarked that every step in the method tends to 
impress the imagination. The preliminary examination 
which the patient anxiously undergoes in the hope that 
his case will be found suitable for the treatment ; the 
admission of the selected cases into the inner rooms, 
about which there is a certain air of somnolency and 
expectation ; the vision of other persons in different 
stages of sleep — all excite the faculty of imitation and the 
desire to sleep to the greatest degree possible. After so 
much trouble and such careful selection the new-comer 
would indeed be ungrateful for opportunities and un- 
deserving of cure if he did not enter into the spirit of the 
place and prove amenable to hypnotism and impression- 
able to suggestion. Small wonder is it, therefore, that 

* ' Des Hypnotismus seine psychophysiologische,' etc. 


Dr. Wetterstrand has treated over 3,000 patients with 
such success that he finds only 5 per cent, are unin- 
fluenced by hypnotism.* Dr. Berillon adopts a very 
similar method in his clinique in Paris, and he rarely 
attempts to hypnotize a patient on his first visit or until 
he has been prepared for it by seeing other persons 
operated on. He, therefore, also generally succeeds in 
influencing his patients. Drs. Van Renterghem and Van 
Eeden, at Amsterdam, pursue a somewhat similar course 
and are equally successful. No physician adopting a 
psychical method of treatment can afford to ignore any 
legitimate means of influencing a patient's imagination. 
And the best way to attain this end is the assumption 
and maintenance of a firm and yet sympathetic demeanour. 
I am led, more especially, to thus enter into minutiae by 
having observed the something like contempt some of the 
medical men I have met have expressed for what I may 
call the technique of suggestive treatment. I have seen 
a hospital physician, who believes in hypnotism, fail over 
and over again with his hospital patients because he has 
ignored the preliminary step of gaining their confidence 
and allaying their fears. To enter a ward surrounded 
with students, and to pick out a trembling woman and 
tell her, without the least preparation, that she is to be 
hypnotized and go to sleep, is to arouse all kinds of 
opposing emotions in her mind, and renders hypnotism, 
at any rate by the Nancy method, impossible. The same 
woman, if approached gently, and shown other persons 
put to sleep and awakened, would probably prove an 
excellent subject, and might perhaps be cured by the 
treatment. Drs. Van Renterghem and Van Eeden 
always impress upon their patients that the more or less 
powerless condition to which hypnotism will for a short 
time reduce them is for a definite object, and that object 

* In a hundred cases Wetterstrand finds the following proportions: 

5*43 per cent, are uninfluenced. 

7 '24 per cent, feel drowsy. 
52*49 per cent, are unable to open the eyes. 
34*84 per cent, are somnambulic. 


attained, there will be no more after-effect from hypnotism 
than from any other medical procedure, that there is no 
weakening of the will, and that the induction of hypnosis 
entirely depends upon their volition and co-operation, and 
cannot be achieved without them. The patient's attitude 
should somewhat resemble that of a passenger who gets 
into a cab in order to go to a certain place. Having 
secured a decent conveyance and a respectable driver, he 
gives himself up to rest in the confident expectation of 
arriving safely at his destination. If, instead of sitting 
still and trusting to the coachman, he shouts out contra- 
dictory orders and, in the fear of being taken out of his 
way, even pulls at the reins, it is probable that his journey 
will be somewhat prolonged. Many persons can never be 
hypnotized, because they lack the power of composing 
their minds and fixing their attention for two minutes 
at a time. 

During 1890 I treated 118 patients by hypnotic sug- 
gestion, of whom fifty-nine were men, fifty were women, 
and nine were children between six and fourteen. 

Of the men I found ten were uninfluenced after repeated 
trials, and of the women twelve were insusceptible. Only 
one of the children proved insusceptible. As regards 
degree of influence : seven became deeply somnambulic — 
three women, two men, and two children. Thirty-three 
exhibited the cataleptic phenomena. The remaining fifty- 
five patients were influenced to a degree short of catalepsy, 
and many of them experienced only a slight torpor or 
heaviness of the eyes. They all, however, felt the glow 
of reflex warmth in response to suggestion, which is so 
important a characteristic of the hypnotic state. 

Of the thirty-three patients on whom I tried the process 
in vain, five were absolutely insane and four were suffering 
from hypochondriasis almost amounting to insanity. 

Of the remainder some were scatterbrained, and I could 
not get them to fix their attention, some were contradic- 
tious and would not remain passive, while some seemed 
to be over -anxious and too analytical. Two or three 


were so dull and heavy that they fell into natural sleep of 
a profound lethargic character, in which they were insus- 
ceptible to suggestion. 

But in a few cases there seemed to be no reason what- 
ever why the patient should not be a good subject, and it 
is quite possible that on another occasion, or under a 
different operator,* they could be hypnotized. 

The accompanying table will explain the ailments for 
which these ninety-five hypnotized patients were treated 
and the results of the treatment : 






OF case; 




Chronic alcoholism ... 

.. 4 

1 + 


Tobacco habit 



Morbid delusions 





.. I 




Bad habits 


2 ^ 



Melancholia ... 

.. — 














Morbid blushing 









Various chronic neuralgias . 

.. 4 





.. — 




Functional paralysis... 

.. 2 









Writers cramp 

.. 1 




Stammering ... 

.. — 

.. 2 



General chorea 

.. — 




Dyspepsia of various kinds. 

.. 4 




Irregularities of the bowels. 





Nocturnal enuresis ... 




Menstrual irregularities 





Chronic rheumatism... 





Disseminated sclerosis 

.. — 




Locomotor ataxy 

.. — 




Cerebral tumour 

.. — 




Post-apoplectic paralysis 

.. — 




Infantile paralysis 

.. — 




* I have twice succeeded in hypnotizing patients after other medical 
men of experience had failed, and, on the other hand, two or three 
persons whom I could not influence have been hypnotized by other 
operators. But, as a rule, I have found that the person who cannot 
be hypnotized by one physician is not likely to prove more susceptible 
with another— the condition being similar in both cases. 

+ The attacks are rarer and less severe. 

% There was a temporary improvement in all these cases, followed 
by relapse. 

§ One relapsed after twelve months. 


I have not included in the foregoing list a considerable 
number of cases where I have used hypnotism simply as 
a palliative in ordinary general practice and in the course 
of acute disease ; e.g., in tickling laryngeal cough occur- 
ring in the course of pneumonia, colicky pain in typhoid, 
restlessness in endocarditis. Neither have I included cases 
in which I was only consulted once. Hypnotic treatment 
being comparatively novel, a number of persons come to 
the hypnotist more out of curiosity than for any wish to 
be cured, and others come with most exaggerated expecta- 
tions. As an example of the latter class I may cite the 
case of an elderly gentleman who sent for me and asked 
me to hypnotize him in order that I might disperse an 
abscess, and so cheat the surgeon's knife. On examina- 
tion I found a large abscess in the perinseum almost ripe 
for lancing. I succeeded, with some difficulty, in inducing 
a gentle and pleasant languor, in which I left him, after 
suggesting diminution of pain and a good night's sleep. 
These suggestions were fairly well realized, but the patient 
was sadly disappointed, because the surgeon had to open 
the abscess on the day following. A medical man once 
called upon me with even greater expectations. He was 
on his way to his dentist to have a troublesome molar 
extracted, and he looked in to see if I could not anaesthe- 
tize by hypnotism, and thus render gas unnecessary. 
Needless to say I did not succeed in gratifying him, and 
I am afraid he left me thinking very poorly of an agent 
which could not be evoked in its most advanced degree 
at will. 

Two or three ladies have called upon me and told me 
that their husbands were in the habit of drinking too 
much wine, and have asked me to treat them without 
their knowing anything about it. They expressed much 
disappointment when I had to tell them that the patient's 
wish to be cured was an essential preliminary in such 

In my own practice, during the years 1888-89, I have 
found the following results : 


Somnambulists ... ... ... 32 

Profound sleepers ... ... ... 35 

Light sleepers, or somnolent ... ... 88 

Doubtful ... ... ... ... g 

Uninfluenced ... ... ... ... 42 

Number of persons operated on ... ... 206* 

All classes of society are represented in this table, which 
does not profess to be anything but a record of a some- 
what limited personal experience. The English unedu- 
cated classes have an invincible distrust to novelty in 
treatment, and to this I attribute my almost complete 
want of success hitherto in public institutions. On most 
occasions, when I have talked to the patient and got him 
to come to my house, he has been easily hypnotized, and 
I have no doubt but that when hypnotism becomes a 
recognised treatment in hospitals, English experience will 
not differ widely from that of Nancy. One of the som- 
nambulists is a doctor in large general practice. My 
oldest patient was a gentleman of eighty-two, who fell 
into the second stage, and was cured in a few days of an 
attack of gouty sciatica, which had always previously 
lasted for weeks. He has been my patient for seven or 
eight years, so perhaps the therapeutic test is admissible 
here. My youngest patient was a child of five, who fell 
into profound sleep at once. Most of the somnambulists 
are women of neuropathic predisposition, but very few of 
them had ever had any attack of ordinary hysteria, and 
many of them are hard-working clerks or good household 

* Ten years' further personal experience of hypnotism proves to me 
that these figures are fairly representative. In 1894-95 a committee 
was appointed by the Society for Psychical Research to make some 
experiments in thought-transference and other phenomena in the 
hypnotic state, and we advertised in a newspaper for subjects. 
Twenty-six youths were selected from a large number of applicauts, 
and all these stated that they had never been hypnotized before. 
Eighteen proved hypnotizable, or 70 per cent., but of these only abont 
one-third were influenced to the extent of somnambulism. 

The young men were of the junior City clerk class, and we found 
the most intelligent were the best subjects. 



managers. Five of these, however, are boys of ordinary 
types apparently, and three are adult men of perhaps 
more than average ability and intelligence. The pro- 
found sleepers were generally epileptics or persons of 
phlegmatic temperament. I have never seen any un- 
toward symptoms arise from medical hypnotism, and I 
can hardly conceive such a thing possible with ordinary 
care and gentleness. 

I am quite certain that the patient has in no way felt 
subsequently influenced by the operation, except in the 
direction suggested by me and wished for by himself. 
The Nancy treatment is essentially impersonal, and it is 
the patient who hypnotizes himself under the suggestion 
and guidance of the physician, and the curative effect 
gained is the result of concentration and direction of the 
patient's own faculties and functions. The somnambulist 
might, I believe, be made, by frequent induction of 
hypnosis, to do foolish, and even criminal, acts, but no 
suggestion made to an ordinary subject will be executed 
unless it be in accordance with his wish. For instance, it 
would be useless to suggest to a stanch teetotaler, in any 
stage of hypnosis short of somnambulism, that he should 
drink brandy. The suggestion would defeat its end by 
arousing indignation and disgust. Such a suggestion, 
opposed to his moral sense, made to a somnambulist, 
might be obeyed even the first time, but it would probably 
require frequent repetition to break down resistance and 
overcome his individuality. 

If the method described for producing hypnosis fails, 
or loses its effect, I use a modification. Instead of the 
fingers the patient may be told to look at a bright metal 
disc or coin, or the skin of the forehead may be gently 
rubbed while the gaze is fixed on a distant object. Some- 
times verbal suggestion tends to keep a patient awake 
instead of inducing sleep, and in many instances methods 
will have to be devised to meet different idiosyncrasies. 

The method of fascination is, I consider, inapplicable 
and objectionable in ordinary medical practice, as it intro- 


duces too much personal element into the operation, and 
induces a state of complete automatism, in which the 
subject's ego, or personality, is entirely suppressed (Binet 
and Fere). It is practised by looking fixedly and perti- 
naciously into the subject's eyes at the distance of a few 
inches, and at the same time holding the hands. In a 
few minutes all expression goes out of the face, and the 
subject sees nothing but the operator's eyes, which shine 
with intense brilliancy, and to which he is attracted as a 
needle to a magnet. 

Auguste Voisin adopted this plan with insane patients, 
and sometimes succeeded when he had failed by all other 
methods. In such cases, of course, any means are per- 
missible, as by hypnotism and suggestion he has succeeded 
in cutting short attacks of mania, and curing various 
intractable mental conditions. 

There are objections to this method also from the 
operator's point of view. If the subject, or patient, is 
refractory and the operator tired, it may happen that the 
natural sequence of events is reversed, and the operator 
becomes hypnotized instead of the patient. Braid men- 
tions several cases where this took place, and it has 
several times happened to Liebeault. On one of the few 
occasions on which I employed this method I nearly suc- 
cumbed to the continued strain and became conscious of 
a curious inhibitory influence stealing over the muscles 
around my mouth.* Fortunately, the patient just then 

* The mouth is generally acknowledged to be the most expressive 
feature, and its movements are less under the control of the highest 
centres than those of other parts. The man who can face an enemy 
without flinching is often unable to control the twitching of his mouth 
under circumstances of emotion. It seems to be especially subject to 
inhibitory influence, and a drawing in the muscles about the mouth 
often precedes any other symptom in the coming on of hypnosis. A 
middle-aged physician consulted me for sleeplessness in 1889, and 
asked me to hypnotize him. I found him susceptible to about the 
second degree, and having made some suggestions, I left him alone for 
a quarter of an hour. On my return his eyes were open, and I spoke 
to him ; but he made no reply, and pointed to his mouth. In a few 
moments I understood what he meant, and proceeded to apply friction 
to it and told him to open it. He told me that he had not lost con- 
sciousness, and had opened his eyes at the expiration of the ten 

II — 2 


closed her eyes and passed into a profound sleep. The 
method by fascination is also extremely fatiguing, and 
where prolonged staring at an object is necessary, it is 
best to employ Luy's rotating mirror. 

Moll points out that the disagreeable effects sometimes 
seen in the first induction of hypnosis by other means 
than simple suggestion are due, not to the treatment, but 
to the patient's fears, and he says he has noticed similar 
symptoms accompanying the use of electrical appliances 
in nervous persons. I once hypnotized a hospital patient 
who became slightly convulsed and then passed into a 
very hysterical state. She confessed that she looked 
upon the process with great fear, as being very ' uncanny.' 
Dr. Bramwell relates how, in one of his cases, hypnosis 
was ushered in by a slight unilateral convulsion, but this 
did not prevent the operation being followed by cure.* 

As regards the hypnotizability of different types — taking 
Sir B. W. Richardson's classification of men into animal, 
intellectual, nervous and their combinations — I should 
say that the persons of the animal type, large-framed, 
muscular men, of somewhat slow intelligence, but placid 
and easy-going temperament, unless aroused, are the best 
subjects. I have had several such among my somnam- 
bulists. Persons of the emotional type are not so easy to 
hypnotize, but once influenced are probably the best sub- 
jects for psychical experiments. I have seen a great 
many somnambulists of this class, and I think that any 
danger which may accompany hypnotism is only likely to 
occur in such subjects. Men of the purely intellectual 
type are not easily hypnotized : their minds are too 

minutes I had told him to keep them closed ; but he found he could 
not open his mouth, and there he had to lie speechless until I ap- 
peared and unlocked it. I had made no such suggestion, and can 
only explain the occurrence by supposing that I had unwittingly 
passed my fingers over his mouth in such a way as to suggest to him 
the idea that it was closed, which idea was carried into execution. 
The gentleman, who is an M.D. of London, was in a nervous state 
from want of sleep, and hypnotism would probably have done him 
good, but after this experience nothing would induce him to submit to 
the process again. 

* British Medical Journal, February 28, 1891. 


analytical, and they are, as a rule, too unwilling to allow 
their will to be in abeyance. Nevertheless, their con- 
fidence gained, they sometimes make good subjects, 
though I have never seen a somnambulist of this type. 
A considerable number of my patients have belonged to 
mixed types — animal-emotional, which Dr. Richardson 
rightly says is not a pleasing combination ; animal-intel- 
lectual, which is an enviable balance of qualities ; and 
emotional-intellectual, a class comprising a very large 
proportion of brain-workers, and to which most geniuses 
belong. I have found hypnotism easily applied and ex- 
tremely beneficial in the treatment of the neuroses to 
which this last class is especially subject. I have rarely 
reduced them to a state of somnambulism ; and, as their 
minds are generally receptive, such reduction is not neces- 
sary. Undoubtedly the most difficult subjects to influence 
are those of weak and fidgety character, who are unable 
to look one in the face or fix their attention — their eyes 
being an index to their minds. I need hardly say that 
such a person as a medical man, who offered me five 
pounds if I would hypnotize him then and there at a 
medical meeting, is not hypnotizable unless he is able to 
change his mental attitude. 

That insusceptibility to hypnotism is not a sign of intel- 
ligence is well shown by the fact that imbeciles and idiots 
are not hypnotizable. One of the severest rebuffs I 
have ever encountered in my professional experience was 
inflicted on me by a girl patient, an inmate of Paddington 
Infirmary. She was of extremely low order of intelli- 
gence, and I suppose her bringing-up had made her very 
suspicious of everybody and everything. She was suffering 
from slight chorea, and it was thought that hypnotism 
would do her good. However, I exhausted the different 
methods in vain, and at length the patient flung my 
arm on one side, exclaiming, ' I'm not asleep, and ain't 
a-going to !' 

The physician in charge of a large workhouse infirmary 
recently asked me to try hypnotism in his wards, and he 


picked out for me some suitable patients, as he thought. 
They were three broken-down hysterical women of low 
mental power, whose teeth chattered with fear when I 
looked at them. Of course such persons are most difficult 
to hypnotize, and one can only hope for success after 

repeated trials. I explained this to Dr. R , and asked 

him to let me try on some more promising subjects, 
suggesting himself, his two assistants, and a ward nurse. 
They agreed, and he, one of the assistants, and the nurse 
proved excellent subjects. 

On the other hand, John Hunter has recorded (Hack 
Tuke) how he nearly succumbed to the wiles of a 
mesmerist, and only kept himself awake by fixing his 
attention on his great toe, in which he was expecting an 
attack of gout.* 

A few years ago I was asked as a matter of charity to 
try the effect of hypnotism on a poor elderly lady afflicted 
with disseminated spinal sclerosis. She was brought to 
my house and laid on a couch every day while for half an 
hour I practised the various hypnogenic methods upon 
her. But all my efforts were in vain, and after a few 
sittings I gave her up. About a year afterwards I heard 
through a friend that this patient was giving thanks to 
Providence for having saved her from my wiles, and she 
attributed her deliverance to having repeated prayers to 
herself during the process I adopted. She had consented 
to see me to oblige her friends, but had taken good care to 
render my efforts nugatory. 

The late Dr. Voisin's practice requires a few words of 

* The peasant women of Brittany are said to send their children to 
sleep by making them look at a bright ball suspended over their 
cradles. This, the rocking of the cradle, and the monotonous song 
which nurses chant to infants, are distinctly hypnogenic agents acting 
by the monotonous and continuous stimulation of one sense. It is 
possible that children yield more quickly to such influences than 
adults because their highest centres are as yet undeveloped, and there- 
fore are more easily acted upon by inhibitory impulses proceeding from 
below. It is probable that the sleep of young children is of less mixed 
causation than that of adults : it is the result of inhibition almost 
entirely, the chemical products of cerebration which Preyer supposes 
exercise so soporific an influence being a quantite negligeable. 


explanation. Many observers contend that as hypnotic 
suggestion is essentially a psychical treatment, and depen- 
dent for its success on healthful stimulation of the brain 
centres, it is inapplicable when the central organ is 
diseased. It is certainly most difficult to hypnotize the 
mentally affected, whether the condition be mania, 
dementia, melancholia, or idiocy. Nevertheless, Voisin 
finds he succeeded in about 10 per cent, of cases. But 
his physical strength, enthusiasm, and patience enabled 
him to do what few men would care to try. He used to 
spend an hour a day attempting to hypnotize one patient, 
and felt amply rewarded if after twenty operations he 
achieved an alleviation or cure. When he read his paper 
before the British Medical Association at Leeds, in 1889, 
his listeners could only express astonishment at his method 
and its results. Dr. Voisin has done much good work in 
other branches of medical science, and practises with such 
openness and publicity at the Salpetriere, that no one can 
fail to be impressed by his testimony. 

Personally, I have succeeded in somewhat benefiting 
melancholia in two or three cases, and in removing slight 
but troublesome and long - standing delusions in several 
instances ; and in a case of retarded brain development 
in a boy considerable improvement is observable ; but in 
mental diseases generally, I have, as a rule, failed to pro- 
duce the slightest hypnotic influence. 

Dr. Van Eeden considers that hypnotic suggestion will 
remove delusions in their early stage, while the patient is 
still aware of their falsity ; but that when they have 
become established andapart of the personality, hypnotism, 
even if induced, can be expected to do but little good. 
This exactly coincides with my own experience, though in 
one case — that of a medical man who believed himself to 
be under the mesmeric control of a number of persons — I 
succeeded in greatly mitigating the symptom. I told him 
that I should be able to render him insusceptible to 
hypnotic influences other than my own, and my sugges- 
tions being thus more or less in a line with his thoughts, 


he was capable of grasping them. He came to me in a 
very depressed condition, but about twelve operations 
served to greatly modify the trouble. Though he still, 
from time to time, heard voices, he no longer dreaded 
them, and felt he was able to laugh at the threats they 
conveyed. He has been enabled to resume his practice, 
and has greatly improved in bodily health and in capacity 
for work. 

A curious and typical case of this kind was that of a 
retired tradesman who consulted me in 1896, and asked 
me if I could free him from the mesmeric control of 

H.R.H. Princess X . He said he was a stanch 

republican. About two years before he was visiting 
Windsor Park, and was sitting on a bench when the 
royal lady passed. She looked at him, but he did not 
rise or raise his hat, an omission which he said caused her 
to look angrily at him. He immediately felt a sharp pain 
in the back of his head, and he had been subject to this 
ever since. He was quite convinced the Princess had 
thrown a spell over him, which she exercised from time 
to time to punish him for his want of courtesy. I thought 
I might succeed in removing the idea, but failed to do so. 
When I tried to hypnotize him, he said the lady put forth 
extra power, and neutralized my efforts ; probably he will 
die with that delusion still dominant. 

But there is a form of mental disorder which, though 
not amounting to insanity, causes intense suffering, and 
which is not uncommon. I refer to obsession by obscene 
thoughts. Students of the religious history of the early 
Church, and of the lives of Christian and other saints, 
know how common this form of derangement was. The 
temptations of St. Anthony materialized were popular 
subjects for the old masters. I have been consulted in 
many such cases, and have succeeded in several instances 
in removing the morbid ideas, and restoring the patient's 
peace of mind. 

Two of my best cases were clergymen of exemplary life, 
and I have frequently found that it was men of the purest 


life and with the highest ideals who were victims of these 
thoughts. An extremely intelligent patient who went 
abroad after a course of treatment which he said cured 
him came to see me recently for a renewal of the sugges- 
tions. He told me that he had been enabled to keep 
his imagination under control ever since, but that he felt 
that it was once more getting the upper hand. Re- 
newed suggestion again had the desired effect. He was 
a middle-aged man, happily married, and had several 

In no country have the phenomena of hypnotism been 
more carefully studied than in Italy. The names of some 
of the principal investigators — Lombroso, Tamburini, 
Sepilli, Tanzi, Morselli, Vizioli, Bianchi — are sufficient 
guarantee of the thoroughness of the work done. 

A Commission of Italian physicians has been consider- 
ing the therapeutic value of hypnotism, with special refer- 
ence to its applicability in insanity and mental affections. 
After exhaustive researches, they have come to the con- 
clusion that hypnotic suggestion may be efficacious in 
dipsomania and the psychoses which are based on 
hysteria, but that in other forms of mental disease 
favourable results are only obtainable in a few cases. 
The Commission put the matter to the test by experi- 
menting with great care and patience on fifty-six mental 
cases — thirty-two men and twenty-four women. Of the 
men, eight were affected with slight mania, nine with 
melancholia, eight with epileptic phrenosis, two with fixed 
ideas, and three with paranoia. Only two of these proved 
hypnotizable — one epileptic and one lypemaniac. Of the 
twenty-four women, four were affected with slight mania, 
nine with melancholia, seven with epileptic phrenosis, 
two with fixed ideas, and two with paranoia. Only eight 
of these proved hypnotizable, and of these three were 
hysterical, one melancholic, and four epileptic. In the 
other cases no effect was produced. The degree of 
hypnosis produced was generally slight, and somnam- 
bulism only ensued in three cases — two of which were 


hysterical and one epileptic. As regards therapeutic 
results very little was achieved in any of the cases. In 
the opinion of the Commission, morbid auto-suggestion is 
an almost insurmountable obstacle — first, against the 
success of hypnotism ; and, secondly, against the fulfil- 
ment of the curative suggestions. The Commission came 
to the conclusion that hypnotism was therefore applicable 
in only a few mental diseases, but they experimented on 
and reported in favour of the systematic employment of 
therapeutic suggestions, without hypnotism, to the treat- 
ment of insanity. They found that suggestion made in 
the waking state is the most effective and reliable means 
of cure in mental diseases, and to it are due, almost 
entirely, the beneficial effects of the asylum — which repre- 
sents a real suggestive surrounding. 

' Summarizing now the results of our experiments, it 
appears that hypnosis was most readily obtained in cases 
of hysterical insanity, and in a few cases of epileptic 
insanity, but in other forms of mental alienation, despite 
our proceeding in accord with all the experimental rules, 
hypnosis, excepting in one case of anxious melancholy, 
was impossible. As regards therapeutic suggestion, made 
during the hypnosis, we are unable to report any actual 
results, excepting the case of hysterical ischuria described 
by Funajoli, though in some cases the hypnosis reached 
the degree of somnambulism, in which, according to Bern- 
heim and others, the greatest susceptibility of the sleeper 
was observed. If, therefore, we may judge collectively of 
the result of our researches and of those made by the 
observers cited by us, we must conclude that a suggestive 
hypnotic therapeusis cannot be established, in the form of 
any general rule, as a means of cure in mental diseases. 
It seemed to be effective almost exclusively in cases in 
which the psychopathic phenomena were connected with 
a hysterical neurosis, or in dipsomania. In these special 
conditions of the psyche, it seems that hypnosis is 
obtained with sufficient facility, and the suggestion suc- 
ceeds in modifying the characters, bridling the impulses 


and bad habits, reviving the affections and sentiments, 
and removing morbid ideas. On the other hand, in the 
acute and chronic forms of paranoia, in states of mental 
weakening with delirious ideas, in grave forms of melan- 
cholia and mania, it is very rarely, if ever, that hypnosis 
can be obtained, or that suggestion alone succeeds in 
effecting the disappearance or the amelioration of those 
morbid phenomena which are the consequence of an 
abnormal organization, or of profound alterations in the 
cerebral mass. 

1 The results of therapeutic suggestion in mental diseases 
being thus examined, it seems to us that we may assume 
the following principal conclusions : 

' 1. Therapeutic hypnotic suggestion cannot be in- 
stituted as a general means of cure in the treatment of 
mental diseases, owing to the difficulty of hypnotizing the 

' 2. Hypnosis succeeds most readily in the hysterical 
and epileptic. 

' 3. The most certain results of hypnotic therapeutic 
suggestion have, up to the present time, been obtained in 
the psychoses depending on hysteria and dipsomania. 

' 4. Hypnotic suggestion may be employed when the 
insane submit to it of their own accord, and derive benefit 
from it. The physician should use it with great caution, 
and take account of the hurtful effects which, in certain 
cases, may be produced. 

' 5. Therapeutic suggestion made in the waking state is 
the most reliable and effective means of cure in mental 
diseases, and to it almost solely are due the beneficial 
effects of the asylum, which represents a real suggestive 

' 6. In cases of melancholia without delirium, cases of 
fixed ideas, cases of alcoholism, and in slight forms of 
stupor, suggestion methodically repeated in the waking 
state, in order to combat the morbid phenomena, may 
prove effectual. 


' 7. In the chronic forms of paranoia suggestion has 
never given favourable results.'* 

It will be seen from this summary that the Commission 
advises the systematic employment of suggestion without 
hypnotism in some forms of mental disease. They were 
led to this conclusion by finding that a considerable 
number of the subjects whom they tried in vain to 
hypnotize were amenable to, and responded to, simple 
suggestion repeated regularly over considerable periods of 
time. In this way they succeeded in removing fixed 
ideas, folic de doute, and incipient melancholia in several 
cases. They also cured by this means a drunkard, whose 
daily allowance of alcohol was ten to fifteen bottles a day; 
at least, he reduced his allowance to one bottle a day. 
They found simple suggestion proved effectual in several 
cases of stupor of the first degree, by removing the state 
of arrest which paralyzes the will and the ideational 

Dr. Percy Smith and Dr. A. T. Myers made trial of 
hypnotism in a series of cases of insanity at Bethlem, and 
the conclusions they came to are very similar to those 
arrived at by the Italian investigators. t 

Dr. Forel, of Zurich, finds he can hypnotize even more 
than 10 per cent, of the insane who are confined in the 
public asylum, of which he is superintendent, but he ex- 
presses great disappointment with the result (op. cit.). 
Even when he has obtained advanced somnambulism, so 
that the patient has proved anaesthetic, and susceptible 
to negative hallucinations, he has often failed to remove 

a fixed delusion. For instance, Madame A fancied 

herself Madame B . She was very susceptible to 

hypnotism, and Dr. Forel assured her in the somnam- 
bulic state that she was Madame A and not B . 

She only shook her head, and even in this state refused 
to part with her delusion. Dr. Forel, however, obtains 

* " Therapeusis of Mental Diseases,' by Dr. G. Sepilli, translated 
from the 'Archivio Italiano,' in American Journal of I nsa?iity, 1891. 

t ' On the Treatment of Insanity by Hypnotism,' Journal of Mental 
Science, 1890. 


good results in mental troubles of emotional and hysterical 
origin, and altogether is a strong disciple of the school of 

Dr. Forel showed me a curious condition of partial or 
complete analgesia which he is able to induce by simple 
suggestion in subjects whom he has frequently hypnotized. 
I saw him go up to strong, able-bodied German-Swiss 
attendants at his asylum, take them by the arm or hand, 
and tell them they had lost sensation in their right hand, 
left eye, or some other part ; one could then prick the 
conjunctiva, or pinch the hand without causing the least 
sign of pain or discomfort, though the subject would be 
apparently in full possession of all her faculties. It is 
common enough for dentists and surgeons to assure their 
patients that this or that procedure will not hurt, but the 
affirmation does not, as a rule, make much impression. 
Dr. Forel's assertion, however, did really paralyze the 
sensory nerve fibres, or inhibit the functioning of their 
cortical centre. I have been able, in a few cases, to copy 
this experiment, and notably in one case — a somnambulic 
gentleman of thirty-five of good bodily and mental health. 
Friction of a localized area of skin will produce anaesthesia 
in a few seconds, and he will then be quite unconscious of 
any irritation applied to it. On the other hand, a sugges- 
tion of hyperesthesia will be followed by increased sensi- 
bility to impressions. This gentleman, though such a 
susceptible subject, is now quite insusceptible to the 
hypnotic suggestions of any save his two medical men, 
and his individuality has been strengthened by hypnotic 
treatment. (For anaesthesia induced by suggestion with- 
out hypnotism, see p. 76.) Forel made practical use of 
hypnotism in a peculiar way. The institution was under- 
manned, and he found the attendants whom he had to 
employ to look after suicidal patients at night required to 
be off duty during the day, and so reduced his staff. He 
hit upon the plan of hypnotizing these attendants, and 
telling them they might sleep, but that any attempt on 
the part of the patient to get out of bed would wake 


them. He found his plan quite successful, the attendants 
got a fair allowance of sleep at night, and were able to 
work during the day. 

Alcoholized persons are generally good subjects for the 
treatment, but I have never succeeded in hypnotizing a 
person for the first time while in a state of intoxication. 
It is necessary to wait until the first effects of the stimu- 
lant have passed off. The effect of hypnotic treatment in 
chronic alcoholism is very marked. The patient often 
first comes under observation suffering from the physical 
effects of his indulgence. Probably he has subacute 
gastritis with morning sickness, furred tongue, flatulence 
and heartburn, headache and heaviness in the head, cold- 
ness of the extremities, with weak, irritable pulse and 
irregular action of the bowels. These symptoms, as well 
as their mental accompaniments — languor or extreme 
restlessness, despondency, and irritability — very speedily 
yield to the treatment, so that it is no uncommon thing 
to see the chronic drunkard well on his legs within a 

I have tried the action of various drugs as aids to 
producing hypnosis in intractable cases, but neither sub- 
cutaneous injections of morphia, inhalation of chloroform 
or ether, cannabis indica, nor bromides, have seemed to 
exert any marked effect in that direction. (See p. 207.) 
Hypnotism seems a psychical condition sui generis. 
Alcohol, however, appears to predispose to hypnotism, 
and I frequently find a subject is more amenable after a 
good meal than he is before it. Hypnotism practised in 
a rational manner is not fatiguing or trying in any way, 
and no concentration of the operator's mind, or direction 
of his will, seems to be required. Liebeault is old and 
not robust, yet he hypnotizes sometimes as many as forty 
people in a morning. The idea of personal influence and 
magnetic attraction so industriously promulgated by in- 
terested public performers, and so objectionable to most 
people, is entirely discountenanced and denied by scientific 


In the foregoing remarks an endeavour has been made 
to answer many questions which are constantly being put 
to the practical hypnotist. The answers are founded on 
experience which it is in the power of any medical man 
to verify. The cases described in the following chapter 
are by no means exceptional, but are fairly illustrative of 
the use of hypnotic suggestion in ordinary practice. The 
results are certainly no better than would be attained by 
any trained medical man using the same method with a 
due regard to its technique. 

Dr. Liebeault never attempts to hypnotize a patient for 
the first time if there is a spasm of pain, an access of 
retching or vomiting, or great emotional disturbance. 
An attempt to employ suggestion under such circum- 
stances would almost certainly result in failure, and would 
endanger the success of future efforts. I always wait 
until the paroxysm is over, or, if the pain is continuous, 
I give an anodyne, and only try hypnotism when the dis- 
quieting symptoms are veiled by the drug. 

After the patient has been thoroughly accustomed to 
the treatment, it is often possible to hypnotize even while 
he is suffering great pain, as I have seen in cases of acute 
rheumatism and neuralgia. But even when the patient is 
a good subject pain may render the process of no avail. 
Under such circumstances I again have recourse to an 
anodyne, and when the severity of the pain is subdued 
there is rarely any further difficulty in inducing the usual 
degree of hypnosis. 

As an example of this, I may refer to the case of a 
gentleman who came to me to be hypnotized for loco- 
motor ataxy. After the second sitting he experienced no 
more pains for nearly three months. Then he got caught 
in a storm, and sat for some time in his wet clothes. A 
violent attack of pain came on the night following, and he 
got to my house with much difficulty the next day. 

The lightning pains in his thighs were so severe that 
they made him scream out, and they were almost con- 
tinuous. He was only susceptible to the first degree, and 


it would have been useless to have tried hypnotism under 
the circumstances. After the injection of half a grain 
of morphia, in divided doses, he at last became quiet 
and free from pain, and I then hypnotized him with 
success, and he remained free from pain for a long time. 
He, however, returned regularly for treatment every two 
weeks, and I find that repetition of the operation at 
about that interval is necessary in these cases. Dr. Van 
Eeden told me, and I have fully confirmed his observation, 
that when natural sleep is induced instead of the hypnotic 
state, the subject is not in touch with the operator, and is 
therefore insusceptible to suggestion, and no benefit then 
results from the operation. I have seen natural sleep 
induced by suggestion several times. 

Dr. Forel has stated that it is very inadvisable to 
hypnotize insane and weak-minded persons in company, 
as they are very apt to be acted upon by suggestions 
meant for other patients. I have always found that the 
more private and serious the procedure is made, the better 
is the result — at any rate, with English patients. 

I have failed to get any improvement in a case of 
paralysis of the right arm dependent on spinal sclerosis ; 
nor have I been more successful with an old-standing 
right hemiplegia, with late rigidity, in a young man of 
twenty-one, dating from an attack of infantile convulsions, 
and dependent on cerebral lesion.* I gave up a case of 
congenital chorea, as it was impossible to tell if the patient 

* The improvement I have seen result from suggestion in several 
cases of locomotor ataxy would encourage me to try the treatment in 
organic cerebro-spinal diseases. Drs. Fontan and Segard, Professors 
at the Medical School of Toulon, have published in their ' Elements 
de Me'decine Suggestive ' clinical notes of a case of disseminated 
sclerosis of the cord. The patient improved so much under hypnotic 
treatment that doubts were thrown on the accuracy of the diagnosis ; 
but the man returned to the hospital the following year and died there 
of acute tuberculosis. A careful necropsy was made, which revealed 
very extensive patches of sclerosis, chiefly in the left lateral column, 
and rendered the improvement somewhat extraordinary. As Bernheim 
says, there is, no doubt, a great deal of sympathetic and functional dis- 
turbance of the neighbouring centres and structures in many forms of 
cerebro-spinal disease, and it is this element which can be reached by 


— a boy aged eight, of weak intelligence, but great cunning 
— were really influenced, or was only pretending. I am 
unable to say much of its use in epilepsy. In some cases 
the fits have diminished in number and intensity at first, 
but they have generally reasserted themselves. Several 
times, however, I have persuaded the patient to leave off 
taking bromides, and have generally found that hypnotic 
suggestion, as long as it is used, will enable the sufferer to 
dispense with drugs. In cases of bromism this is by no 
means a small gain. 

In the Zoist and other mesmeric publications of the 
last generation one frequently comes across references to 
the successful treatment of epilepsy by mesmerism, but 
there is generally a want of scientific accuracy in the 
accounts of such cases which very much weakens their 

On a priori grounds hypnotism might be expected to 
exert a powerful influence in epilepsy, and I confess that 
the rarity with which it has effected cures is a matter of 
much disappointment to me. 

Hypnotism undoubtedly affects the cortical cells, as 
does epilepsy, and its action on them should be regular 
and orderly, instead of explosive and destructive. In fact, 
it might be expected to act as a physiological corrective 
by controlling irregular nervous discharges, breaking the 
morbid nerve habit, and conservating the energy which 
epilepsy dissipates. No doubt hypnotism does act in this 
manner in most cases of hysterical origin, and in some 
where no hysteria is present. In long-standing cases, 
when the disease is hereditary, or when it has a traumatic 
origin, I should hardly expect, from my experience, to find 
hypnotism of much value ; and, of course, where the 
disease is traceable to a reflex irritation — e.g., unerupted 
wisdom-tooth, elongated foreskin, visual defects — this 
should be put right. It is, however, always justifiable 
to make a careful trial of hypnotism in cases of epilepsy, 
for there are many cures now recorded on the best 
authority. I have never myself cured a case of confirmed 



epilepsy, but I have frequently seen it useful in modifying 
the number and violence of the attacks. 

For instance, a young lady, aged twenty -two, was 
brought to me in 1894. She had developed epileptic fits 
at the age of puberty, and they were only kept in check 
by large and continuous doses of bromides. Her mental 
condition had undergone great impairment, and she was 
always in a dreamy state. She kept a book in which she 
made a note of each attack, and altogether she lived in an 
atmosphere of depression and morbid suggestion. But 
the symptom which caused most embarrassment, and 
which cut her off from social life, was the unfortunate 
delusion which always prevailed when she came out of 
the fit, that she was going to bed, and she would proceed 
to undress herself wherever she might be. The fits were 
always ushered in by an aura starting from her right hand. 
I found her a good subject, like most epileptics, and re- 
sponsive to suggestion. I suggested that when she felt 
the tingling in the hand going up the arm she should be 
able to prevent the fit by tightly clasping the hands 
together, and that she should, even if a fit occurred, 
always come out of it quietly, and know where she was. 

The bromides were entirely left off, and the dismal 
diary was thrown away. The girl improved wonderfully 
in general and mental health, but the fits still occurred 
about twice a week. On several occasions she was able 
to avert them by the pressure as I had suggested, thus 
establishing an inhibitory influence over the nervous dis- 
charge. But the case was too far gone to admit of cure, 
and we never got beyond a certain point. However, she 
has never since committed any social solecism in the 
post-epileptic state, and is able to go a little into society. 

In one case I thought cure was effected, for the patient, 
a City clerk, aged nineteen, went for a year without a fit. 
Previous to treatment he used to have a bad one about 
once a week. I believe the young man would have been 
permanently cured had he taken care of himself and led a 
rational life. But when he got better he used to drink, 


frequent heated music-halls, and dissipate generally, so 
that no treatment had much chance, and he is now, I 
believe, a hopeless case. 

Dr. Wetterstrand of Stockholm has had considerable 
success in the treatment of epilepsy by prolonged hypnosis. 
In some cases he has kept the patient asleep as long as 
six weeks at a time. He renews the suggestions daily, 
and the patient eats and performs the usual functions in 
response to suggestion. 

The physiological indications in favour of this treat- 
ment are strong. During hypnosis the higher cortical 
centres in which the nerve storm has its origin are kept in 
a state of rest, morbid association and periodicity are in- 
terrupted, and time given for the weakened and im- 
poverished cortical cells to recuperate and become healthy. 

It may here be mentioned that Dr. Auguste Voisin thus 
treated at the Salpetriere several cases of periodic attacks 
of mania occurring in women. He succeeded in curing 
some of them by the ingenious device of hypnotizing 
them before the period was expected, and keeping up 
the hypnosis during the critical time. 

I have only had the opportunity of trying this treatment 
in two cases. Both subjects were hysterical girls, and I 
found the prolonged sleep beneficial. In one case I kept 
it up for three, and in the other for four, days. 

Dr. Barwise quotes a case in which a lady was quite 
cured of confirmed epilepsy, and is now the healthy 
mother of a healthy family. He himself has treated four 
cases — two of congenital epileptic imbecility which were 
unaffected, and two the nature of which he does not 
mention. One is completely cured, and the other has 
a fit about once in three months, as compared with one 
or two seizures a week.* 

Dr. Barwise has kindly supplied me with the following 
further particulars about these cases (May, 1891) : 

' The girl, aged about eighteen, began having fits when 
menstruation appeared. I saw her in Birmingham about 

* Op. cit., p. 20. 

12 — 2 


a year ago, and she had had no recurrence. Before trying 
hypnotism I had given her bromides and the usual routine 
remedies. In the case of the woman patient there was no 
history of injury, but the attacks were preceded by a feel- 
ing of numbness and powerlessness of the left hand.' 

Dr. Berillon treated twenty cases of epilepsy in 1889 
and the first half of 1890. He found hypnotism curative 
in only four cases (quoted on pp. 286-8). 

In six other cases the treatment was beneficial in 
reducing the number of the attacks, diminishing their 
severity, and improving the general health, the memory 
and mental condition being notably ameliorated. In the 
ten other cases the results were negative. 

Dr. Outterson Wood tells me he has effected a great im- 
provement, which seems likely to be permanent, in a case 
of undoubted epilepsy of long standing (reported p. 290). 

Drs. Van Renterghem and Van Eeden treated seven 
cases of epilepsy during 1887-88, and their results are not 
encouraging. In two cases no effect was produced, and 
in four only slight or temporary benefit followed the treat- 
ment. In a case of hystero-epilepsy in a medical student, 
brought on apparently by the malpraxis of a travelling 
magnetizer, they were successful, as already mentioned, 
in stopping the attacks. 

Liebeault considers that epilepsy may frequently be 
cured by hypnotism when it does not depend on gross 
organic lesion. He counsels perseverance in the treat- 
ment, and cites the case of an unmarried woman, aged 
thirty-nine, affected with epileptic vertigo from her birth. 
He continued the treatment assiduously for four years, 
and at the end of that time the patient was cured, and 
has continued so.* 

The question of the curability of organic disease by any 
method of treatment is one of much interest, and does 
not affect hypnotism alone, but all therapeutic methods 
equally. The answer depends in a great measure on 
what we mean by cure. If we mean only removal of 

* Op. df., p. 144. 


symptoms and arrest of active disease, it is certain that 
the question is answered in the affirmative every day, for 
we see patients with obvious signs of phthisis pulmonalis, 
for example, frequently restored to what may pass for 
sound health by many forms of treatment. But if we 
mean restoration of structurally degenerated and altered 
tissue, I think no physician will have the temerity to 
maintain that destroyed lung tissue can be restored, or 
that liver cells spoilt by cirrhosis can be replaced. But 
there are stages in a disease short of the stage of dissolu- 
tion of tissue, in which, if healthy action can be set up, 
we may hope for restitutio ad integrum : for example, in 
the early period of fatty degeneration of the heart, before 
the muscular fibres have completely lost their character ; 
in the first oncoming of Bright's disease after scarlet fever, 
before the excreting structure is seriously compromised. 

Even when structural alteration has gone so far that 
restoration of the tissue to its normal quality is impossible, 
we can often prevent the extension of degenerative changes, 
and can favour a compensative increase of functional 
activity in the healthy tissue which remains, e.g., compen- 
sative hypertrophy in valvular disease, hypertrophy of the 
healthy kidney when the other is destroyed. We can 
also afford relief by removing symptoms and reducing 
them to their anatomical expression (De Watteville), as 
we endeavour to do in incurable diseases, such as cancer 
and tabes dorsalis. 

There is a great choice of treatment for the attainment 
of these various indications, and no sensible medical man 
feels bound to any one of them, or maintains that it is the 
only method which can afford relief. Sometimes no treat- 
ment is required, and the only indications are to place 
the patient under the most favourable conditions for the 
vis medicatrix natures to act. In other cases a course of 
hydropathy or massage favours the curative processes, 
and in others, again, drugs exert a specific effect. Take, 
for instance, a case of locomotor ataxy. Sometimes the 
gait may be improved and the pains relieved by suspen- 


sion ; by drugs, especially strychnia and antipyrin ; and 
by hypnotic suggestion. From the way many persons 
criticise hypnotism and hypnotists, one would suppose 
that we employed this agent as a panacea in every case. 
This is exactly the position we want to avoid and intend 
to keep out of. But we feel that it is a very great point 
to have at our disposal a method of treatment to which 
we can have recourse when other remedies have failed.* 

I have tried hypnotism in twelve cases of stammering, 
and in half of these I have found it useful. In two cases, 
those of schoolboys, complete cure resulted, and in three 
others there is so much improvement that little incon- 
venience remains. One of the patients is a barrister, who 
was debarred from pleading in court by his infirmity. 
He was only slightly susceptible to hypnotism, but he 
improved rapidly, and he has recently written to tell me 
that he has been appointed Recorder of a large town, and 
fills that important post with satisfaction. 

Another recent case is that of a medical student who 
had repeatedly failed at his viva-voce examination, not, he 
said, from want of knowledge, but from a mental con- 
fusion which seemed complementary to the physical 
difficulty of speaking the necessary words. All his atten- 
tion was required for the mechanical work of articulation, 
and he could give none to the subject-matter. Probably 
the stammerer is often handicapped in this way, and I 
think the remedy is, if possible, to bring about a natural 
automatism in speaking. The mistake made in many 
systems is that the attention is more than ever de- 
voted to the weak spot, and morbid self-consciousness, 
which is such a prominent feature in stammering, is 
thereby increased. 

I always try to impress upon stammerers that clear 
and easy articulation is a natural act, and should come 

* Function depends upon blood-supply in the first place, and it 
must follow that by influencing the trophic and vaso-motor centres we 
must affect and control not only psychic processes, but the motor 
sensory and structural arrangements which form their physical basis. 
This is practically the position we assume. 


spontaneously. It is like walking. If one tries to walk 
elegantly and picks one's steps, the result is probably a 
very halting performance, and it is often the same in 

I have observed a great many patients who have been 
under the treatment of different professors of voice pro- 
duction and elocution. They have been given elaborate 
exercises, and have probably benefited as long as they 
carried out the rules laid down, and continued under the 
eye of the master. But return to the normal conditions 
of life has generally brought about a relapse. One of the 
worst cases of stammering I ever heard was that of a 
young Cambridge man who had for six months been the 
show pupil of a voice specialist. 

These systems attack the periphery instead of the 
centre, and I am afraid only rarely really cure the patient. 

A bad stammer is a terrible handicap in the battle of 
life, and any means of curing it should be welcomed as a 
boon. I think hypnotic suggestion is the most hopeful 
remedy in the case of young adults, and that it will 
generally succeed in curing children if systematically em- 
ployed before the habit has become fixed and permanent. 

If it is of importance, in some cases, to transfer normal 
actions from the domain of excessive consciousness to 
that of subconsciousness, it is no less important, on the 
other hand, to be able at times to reverse the process, 
and to bring morbid actions which have become auto- 
matic under the direct action of the will. Nail-biting is 
an example of what I mean. Here the habit has become 
automatic and unconscious, so the child puts his hands 
to his mouth and destroys his nails without knowing it, 
until perhaps he has gnawed them to the quick, and is 
rendered conscious of his act by the pain. Acting on 
Berillon's advice, I have in treating these cases by sug- 
gestion made it my aim to bring these unconscious 
morbid actions into the sphere of consciousness, and 
establish, as it were, a fence of inhibitory suggestions to 
protect the threatened part. The child is told that in 


future, when he moves his hand to the mouth to bite his 
nails, he will feel a heaviness in his arm and shoulder and 
a tingling in the fingers which will continue until he calls 
his conscious will into play and checks the impulse. An 
inhibitory centre is thus educated, and I have found this 
treatment successful in a number of cases not only of 
nail-biting, but of other bad habits. The same principle 
is sometimes acted upon in the treatment of drunkards. 
The patient is told that if he attempts to raise a glass of 
spirits to his lips his arm will become paralyzed, and he 
will drop the glass. 

I feel perfectly convinced that hypnotic suggestion is 
the ideal treatment for curing morbid habits in children. 
If the child is a good subject, as most children are, he 
can nearly always be cured of stammering by it. 

I have tried hypnotism as an aid to treatment in 
stammering of young children before the habit has be- 
come permanent and fixed. In incipient melancholia, 
and in depression of spirits short of this condition, I have 
found it of service ; but hitherto I have failed to notice 
much effect from it when the condition was of long 
standing. On several occasions I have succeeded in re- 
moving false ideas, as in the case of a gentleman who was 
afraid to enter a dark room in consequence of having been 
frightened by ghost stories when a child. One frequently 
finds morbid fixed ideas depend upon a suggestion made 
in early life, and these are well met by a course of counter- 

I was once consulted as to the case of a young pro- 
fessional man, who was afflicted with bulimia, a form of 
morbid craving which is, I believe, uncommon. He has 
periodical attacks of irresistible craving for food, analogous 
to the desire for alcohol felt by dipsomaniacs. He feels 
these attacks coming on, and begs his friends to look after 
him, and take care of his money and jewellery, lest he 
should pawn them for food. But, in spite of everything, 
he finds means of raising money, and with it buys food to 
an enormous amount. This he secretes, and gorges him- 


self with until he can eat no more. For instance, on one 
occasion he bought and devoured within a few hours a 
quartern loaf, two pounds of cheese, a tinned tongue, a 
quantity of pastry, a pot of jam, and a large assortment of 
sweets. The bout is followed by violent sickness and a 
bilious attack, which lasts for some days. Hypnotism 
offers the best hope of cure in such a case ; but, as illus- 
trating the prejudice against the remedy in some quarters, 
the patient's friends have persuaded him not to try it, but 
to live as a voluntary boarder in a lunatic asylum ! 

Hypnotism introduces one to curious histories. I 
undertook with some confidence the case of a gentleman, 
aged fifty, who for three years had suffered from a curious 
antipathy, apparently half mental and half physical. He 
was unable to remain in the room with his youngest son, a 
bright, intelligent boy of twelve, on account of the feeling 
of restlessness which used to come over him, followed by 
flushing of the face, noises in the ears, confusion of thought, 
and palpitation of the heart. He was perfectly sane, held 
an important financial position, and there was absolutely 
no cause to account for the sensation. The feeling is 
confined to this particular boy. At first I found it im- 
possible to influence him sufficiently to master this idee 
fixe, but later on he developed into a fairly good subject. 

In December, 1889, the gentleman came to see me, not 
as a patient, but as escort to a lady who wished to be 

hypnotized. The lady was nervous, and Mr. X 

offered to let me demonstrate the process on him. To 
our mutual surprise, he yielded to the soporific influence, 
and fell into the second stage of hypnotic sleep, after look- 
ing at a bright disc held above his eyes for a couple of 
minutes, and I was at once able to make suggestions com- 
bating his delusion. He experienced less discomfort than 
usual from his son's presence that evening, and there was 
no difficulty in hypnotizing him subsequently. The 
morbid idea was of three years' persistence, was steadily 
increasing in intensity up to the time of his being first 
hypnotized, and was a cause of serious distress and worry 


to him. I had endeavoured to influence him no less than 
ten times previously with absolutely no effect, and I 
attribute my ultimate success to the fact that his mind 
was taken off its guard ; and the nervousness and uncon- 
scious resistance, which had prevented any hypnotic effect 
when he came as a patient, were no longer existent when 
he returned merely as a spectator. Readers of fiction 
will remember that Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes learnedly 
discusses a somewhat similar train of symptoms, upon 
which he founds his novel, ' A Mortal Antipathy.' 

In many forms of genito-urinary troubles I have found 
suggestion a useful auxiliary in treatment ; nor is this to 
be wondered at when we consider the amount of functional 
disturbance which is present in these cases. I have cured 
two very bad cases of prostatic neuralgia, and a most 
obstinate one of pruritus vulvae, which rendered the 
patient's life a burden to her. In many forms of rheuma- 
tism the effect of hypnotic treatment is at first sight 
surprising. It very frequently removes pain, even in 
chronic rheumatoid arthritis. There is a great deal of 
neuralgia mixed up with most kinds of rheumatism, and 
suggestion enables us to meet this, and at the same time 
to bring about an alteration in the local blood-supply, 
especially if aided by friction. 

Braid was extremely successful in treating these cases, 
and he used to combine a good deal of manipulation with 
hypnotism. This manipulation acted in two ways : first, 
on the part, by helping to break down adhesions, stimu- 
lating the muscles, etc. ; and secondly, on the central 
nervous system, by suggestion and direction of the mind 
to the affected part. 

In treating local troubles, it is very advisable to combine 
Braid's manipulative method with Liebeault's suggestions. 
In cases of rheumatism I have frequently seen the joint 
to which this double treatment has been applied quickly 
relieved from pain, whilst the corresponding one has con- 
tinued painful until attention was specially directed to it. 

I have succeeded on two or three occasions in breaking 


down adhesions about rheumatic joints without pain, when 
the patient would not allow me to touch them in his 
normal state. 

I met with rather a striking case in 1896. The patient 
was a country practitioner, and had suffered from obstinate 
rheumatism of the right deltoid muscle for several months. 
As his practice was a driving one, he found the condition 
extremely inconvenient as well as painful. He had tried 
injections of morphia into the substance of the muscle, 
and had been treated with massage and electricity without 
benefit. The arm was becoming wasted from disuse, and 
any movement of the shoulder caused acute pain. He 
was hypnotizable to the third degree, and I suggested 
that he should feel no pain when I moved the shoulder, 
and that there should be no tenderness on pressure. I 
cautiously swung the arm round, and freely massaged the 
muscle without his wincing, and in a few moments I told 
him to open his eyes and try for himself. He found him- 
self much relieved, and the improvement was still more 
manifest when he came to see me next day. The treat- 
ment was repeated on that day and the one following, and 
he then returned to his practice cured. He was so much 
impressed by what he had experienced that he took up 
hypnotism enthusiastically, and began to use it with his 
patients. He performed two or three minor operations 
under hypnotic anaesthesia, and relieved many cases of 
insomnia, neuralgia, and nervous trouble generally. But 
the village in which he lived was exceptionally antiquated, 
and the people would have none of this ' new witchcraft.' 

Dr. S found he was looked at askance, and began to 

lose his practice. Being a family man, and a sensible one, 
he argued that if his patients didn't want the best treat- 
ment he could offer them it was not for him to force it on 
them to his own ruin. So he wrote a letter to the greatest 
gossip of the neighbourhood renouncing his advocacy of 
hypnotism, and undertaking never to use it again in the 
place. He was received back into the fold of orthodoxy 
as a sinner who had repented, and he has his reward. 


Hypnotism sometimes enables us to understand the 
nature of a case which has baffled treatment. It threw a 

flood of light, for instance, on the case of Mrs. B . 

This lady came to me suffering from very severe facial 
neuralgia of more than a year's duration. She was a 
thoroughly good, well-intentioned woman, who, in addition 
to devoting herself to a rather exacting husband and seven 
children, spent several hours a day ' slumming ' in a large 
town. She kept irregular hours, and neglected herself in 
every possible way, with the result, of course, that she 
broke down. But she considered it her duty to sacrifice 
her health, and, in spite of illness, continued to overtax 
herself. She came up for two weeks' treatment, and I 
hypnotized her daily. She was only slightly susceptible, 
but quite sufficiently so for our purpose. She told her 
husband after two or three days that though she was 
getting better this was due to the change and rest, and 
that she was not hypnotized. He very sensibly told me 
this, and enabled me to make a necessary change in my 
methods. I hypnotized her as usual, and asked how she 
felt. She replied that she was comfortable, and that the 
pain was better. I then told her she couldn't open her 
eyes, and she tried in vain to do so. Then I assured her 
that she was under hypnotic influence, that she would be 
cured, and that she would not be able to open her eyes 
until the pain had quite gone. 

For twenty minutes it was a duel between us, for all the 
time she was trying to open her eyes, while I was suggest- 
ing she couldn't until the pain was cured. Gradually she 
acknowledged that it was getting better, and at last she 
said it was gone, and opened her eyes. She had no more 
pain, and returned to the country quite well and strong. 
She remained well for six months, though she again 
systematically neglected all the rules of health ; and then I 
hear she had another breakdown, accompanied by severe 

This lady was one of those who hug their infirmities 
and call it ' bearing their cross.' She was quite sulky 


when she had to give up her neuralgia, though, of course, 
she would not admit it. It had become a part of her 
personality. Sometimes one is told by such patients that 
they wouldn't know themselves without their disease. 
Many people allow themselves to fall into a state of 
invalidism because it is, they think, interesting, and appeals 
to their friends' sympathies ; and others take up the role 
because they find it is one they can fill gracefully after 
perhaps having failed in other walks of life. 

The subconscious mind is a strange thing, and plays 
curious pranks with our health and thoughts. It is not 
reached by drugs, but by psychical influences, and I 
believe hypnotism to be the best and most philosophical 
way of employing these. 

In various small surgical procedures, such as lancing 
whitlows, opening abscesses, etc., I have found hypnotism 
a useful anaesthetic ; and it is evident that in certain 
operations in which chloroform is inadmissible, either 
from the condition of the patient or from the locality 
of the operation, hypnotism may be a valuable sub- 

Creed finds hypnotism very useful to relieve pain and 
prevent spasm after fractures and other accidents. He 
has trained some of his patients so that they can throw 
themselves into a state of hypnotic anaesthesia by using a 
prearranged signal. For instance, a gentleman let a 
quantity of ' Chatterton's Compound,' a substance more 
destructive than molten sealing-wax, fall on his hand. 
He immediately put the index-finger of his left hand to 
his mouth, which was the signal agreed upon, and a state 
of analgesia at once followed. The patient did not lose 
consciousness or become affected in any way beyond that 
he felt no pain. Recovery from this severe injury was 
rapid and painless. In dressing surgical wounds Creed 
finds he can induce local anaesthesia by suggestion, with- 
out other hypnotic effect, so that the patient goes on talk- 

* It has been used in this way at the Paris hospitals, and notably in 
one case of ovariotomy at the Hotel Dieu. 


ing rationally all the time (loc. cit., p. 7). I have also seen 
several cases of this kind. 

It may be objected that it is dangerous to suppress pain, 
which is Nature's danger-signal to call attention to the 
injured organ. This is only true to a limited extent. The 
amount of pain is generally far in excess of such require- 
ment, and its alleviation is one of the practitioner's most 
urgent functions. Fortunate is the patient who can have 
this effected without opiates or other anodyne drugs. 

Creed vaunts hypnotism as often specific in treating 
vomiting, and says that no good hypnotic subject need 
suffer from sea-sickness.* 

I have tried the effect of suggestion on five or six 
patients who were about to make long sea-voyages. In 
one of these the effect was very striking, for, though the 
sea was rough, the lady for the first time in her life was 
free from sickness. In two other cases there was great 
improvement compared with previous experiences. In 
every case the result justified the trial of the remedy. 
Liebeault, Osgood, Gorodichize, and other physicians 
have also used hypnotic suggestion successfully against 
vial de mer (Revue de VHypnotisme, 1896). Osgood reports 
four cases of chronic eczema which he cured by suggestion, 
and one remarkable case of chronic dermatitis of excep- 
tional severity after frost-bite. 

The casual and careless application of hypnotic sugges- 
tion will be no test of its value, and handing it over to 
unscientific persons will certainly end in disaster. 

* The following extracts from a letter from a highly- respected 
country practitioner in New Zealand are, I think, worthy of con- 
sideration : ' In February and March last I made a trip over to study 
hypnotic suggestion in Sydney, under Dr. Creed, who has taken the 
matter in hand after due inquiry. I have certainly been greatly 
astonished at the results obtained in my cases. ... I have never 
yet touched a case which I have not enormously benefited, far and 
away more than I could do by ordinary treatment. ... I very much 
regret that I had not taken the subject up years ago. But, like the 
rest of our profession, I was prone to believe there was a good deal 
of low down charlatanism about it. After reading Dr. Creed's 
address to the N.S.W. branch of the B.M.A., of which he has been 
twice president, I communicated with him, and went across to see 
him, and I have been easily able to prove personally nearly all I saw 


If medical men will employ the Nancy method of treat- 
ment in their ordinary practice, they will find it a very 
useful auxiliary in many trying, painful, and tedious cases. 

By expressing this opinion I have aroused some oppo- 
sition ; for there are those who think that, besides damag- 
ing the patient's health, the practice of hypnotism would 
ruin the doctor's pocket and reputation, since he might 
become the prey of designing adventurers and the victim 
of all kinds of charges and blackmail. I don't suppose 
that the most enthusiastic hypnotist would advise the 
practitioner to hypnotize his patients recklessly and pro- 
miscuously ; on the contrary, the more experienced he 
is, the greater caution will he exercise. But probably 
every medical man has many patients who would very 
much prefer twenty minutes' somnolence in an easy-chair 
as treatment for neuralgia to a course of medicine, and 
others on whom the resources of ordinary treatment have 
been employed in vain. 

It is well to understand that the Nancy method of 
hypnotization acts on the central nervous system as a 
brain calmative, and that its object is the production of a 
state analogous to natural sleep by imitation of natural 
processes, and is thus a wooing of repose. The condition 
obtained is characterized by increased suggestibility, and 
it is through this the treatment works. The method 
adopted by Charcot and his imitators to obtain catalepsy 
by causing a violent and sudden sensory impression — by 
sounding a gong or flashing a bright light — acts in a 
totally different way, and induces a state analogous to 
that produced in waking moments by sudden fright or 
shock, which paralyze and transfix with terror. It is the 
difference in method shown by two nurses, one of whom 
quiets her charge by gentle persuasion, while the other 
prevents her from crying by threats of the policeman. 
Both children are kept quiet, but how different will be 
the after-effect of the two methods ! 

A visit to some of the Paris hospitals will afford justifi- 
cation for the assertion which is sometimes made, that 


abuses have not been confined solely to non-medical 
operators, and I am in agreement with a French corre- 
spondent who writes :* ' I consider that every hypnotist 
commits a very grave fault when he provokes post- 
hypnotic phenomena which have no bearing on the treat- 
ment of the case. The production of pains or paralyses 
which do not exist, and of hallucinations, etc., may 
determine brain troubles, and lead to accidents.' The 
temptation to experiment is sometimes great, but it 
should never be yielded to except with the full consent of 
the subject, and for a definite scientific object. The old 
experiments have been repeated ad nauseam, and who is 
now the wiser for seeing a 15-stone operator stand on 
the outstretched body of a cataleptic subject, or what 
can be learned from seeing a victim eat tallow candles 
under the impression they are sweetmeats ? When ex- 
periments are made, it is important not to repeat them 
too often, and to be careful always to remove any sug- 
gested hallucination before the subject goes out into the 
world. The much-quoted case of Krafft-Ebing's illus- 
trates very clearly the dangers of hypnotism when the 
state is induced constantly and wantonly in a morbid and 
hysterical subject. While in a hospital at Pesth, before 
she came into Krafft-Ebing's hands, she was constantly 
being hypnotized, not only by the physicians, but by all 
sorts of people, simply for amusement ; and in the 
hypnotic state most absurd and trying hallucinations 
were generally suggested to her — ' that she was a dog, 
that she was intoxicated, that there was a snake on her 
dress,' etc. What wonder that she ran away from an 
institution where such things were allowed, and that when 
Krafft-Ebing saw her first, he found her confused, absent, 
and with her mind full of delusions and misconceptions ! 
This poor girl was one of a family in which suicide, 
hysteria, and madness were rampant, and it would be 
hard to find a surer plan than that adopted of developing 
all the diseased mental traits latent in her constitution. 

* Dr. David, of Sigean (Aude). 


Professor Krafft-Ebing has embodied in his book the ex- 
periments which he continued to make on this subject, 
but thev were conducted with great care, and led to the 
elucidation of many instructive points. He says : ' No 
detrimental effect upon her disease was ever observed as a 
result of hypnosis when proper precautionary suggestions 
were made.' This patient was so susceptible to sug- 
gestion that stigmata could be evoked, and on one occa- 
sion so severe an injury resulted from the suggestion of a 
severe burn on her arm — the blade of a pair of scissors 
being held against the skin, and the suggestion made that 
it was red-hot — that the wound took several weeks to 

It has been asserted that there is danger of persons 
who have been hypnotized becoming subject to attacks 
of spontaneous somnambulism, and of their being reduced 
to a condition of dangerous over-credulity. I can well 
believe that if the method adopted is defective, there is 
some justification for these fears. If, for instance, a 
person is told that he is to fall into a state of catalepsy 
on hearing a gong, the result might be embarrassing when 
the dinner-gong sounded (see note, pp. 56, 57)-* 

Again, suppose a patient has been frequently hypnotized 
by being made to regard the rotating mirror. Certain 
advertisements at our railway-stations bear a considerable 
resemblance to this instrument, and it is possible that 
a sensitive subject might be involuntarily hypnotized 
through staring at them. Fortunately, such mishaps 
need never occur. The method used should be of a 
nature not likely to be spontaneously reproduced, and 

* Men, like the lower animals, are creatures of habit, and associa- 
tion of ideas plays a leading part in our words and actions. If the 
association is artificially strengthened by hypnotic suggestion, it may 
be of overmastering cogency. We all know the story of the circus 
horse which was borrowed for use as a charger. Everything went 
well until the end of the review, when ' God save the Queen ' was 
played. At the first bar the animal reared on its hind-legs, at the 
second sat down on its haunches, and at the third rolled o\er on his 
back. He had been trained to those actions, and they were evoked 
by the accustomed stimulus. 



the patient should be told that he is not to feel the least 
inclination to hypnotic sleep except under certain circum- 
stances, and with his own full consent. So powerful is 
the effect of suggestion, that the subject thus protected will 
probably be safer against hypnotic wiles than a person 
who has never been hypnotized. It has often happened 
that when the patient has been warned against allowing 
himself to be hypnotized, the very operator who has made 
the deterrent suggestion has for a time been unable to 
influence him. 

There is another objection urged against hypnotic 
treatment, namely, that its effects are temporary, and 
that when a relapse occurs hypnotism will not again 
prove even palliative. The exact reverse is the truth. A 
patient who has been once relieved by hypnotic treatment 
is from that very cause a particularly good subject for 
future treatment by the same means. In diseases where 
the influence of hypnotism can only be temporary and 
palliative, as in locomotor ataxy and cancer, it will be 
found to relieve the pains more quickly and surely after 
six months than it did at first. 

It is not easy to understand what foundation there is 
for many statements made about hypnotism. Most of 
these stories probably date from the time when mes- 
merism was extensively practised by ignorant and credu- 
lous persons, and others are perhaps founded on the 
experiences of professional magnetizers who have not been 
careful as to their method nor too scrupulous in their 
aims. I have on two or three occasions seen the induc- 
tion of hypnotism for medical purposes actuate an attack 
in an epileptic subject, and I have also on more than one 
occasion seen it threaten to develop an access of hysteria 
in a subject in whom that neurosis was latent. But in 
nearly all cases it is easy to control any untoward symp- 
toms by calming suggestions, or, if these fail, to awake 
the patient and discontinue further proceedings for the 
time. I think there is no doubt but that hypnotism deter- 
mines the manifestation of latent emotional states — in the 


same way as chloroform — and this is a reason for insisting 
on its very careful handling. I have only seen one class 
of willing patients in whom hypnotism seemed rather to 
produce an aggravation of the symptoms — cases of what 
Dr. Whittle calls congestive neurasthenia. In the last 
two cases of the kind which came under my observation, 
I began by adopting the course recommended by Dr. 
Whittle, and applied three leeches behind the ears to 
relieve the urgent congestion. This procedure greatly 
relieved the head symptoms, and I then induced hypnosis 
with great facility and considerable advantage. The 
patient should feel refreshed and invigorated after the 
operation, and if this result is not observed, but lassi- 
tude should prevail in spite of suggestions to the con- 
trary, I think it ma)- be taken as a sign that the treatment 
is counter -indicated. I have only met with one case 
of the kind in my own practice, but I have heard of a 
few others. 

My friend, Surgeon-Major Neilson (Canadian regiment 
of artillery), tells me that the thing which first made him 
investigate hypnotism was seeing the effect of the treat- 
ment on a bugler belonging to his regiment, who was in 
hospital and given up as a hopeless case of phthisis 
pulmonalis. He hypnotized the man, and suggested quiet 
sleep, freedom from cough, and good appetite. The 
patient was only affected to the second degree, but the 
suggestions immediately began to tell : the exhausting, 
ineffectual cough diminished, the appetite improved, and 
the man slept well. In six weeks he was able to leave the 
hospital and return to duty. The man was never influenced 
beyond the second degree. One would, of course, like to 
have the physical signs and points of diagnosis thoroughly 
described in such a case, as I am sure Dr. Neilson would 
not maintain that the processes set in motion by hypnotic 
suggestion can restore broken-down lung-tissue.* 

* The following extracts from a letter recently received from 
Dr. Neilson will perhaps be of interest to the reader. Writing from 
Kingston, Ontario, he says : ' Military practice offers but few oppor- 
tunities of practising hypnotism, but so far I have applied it in about 



Dr. Myers (Practitioner, vol. i., 1890, p. 201) men- 
tions a case of acute pneumonia he saw treated by 
Bernheim in the hospital at Nancy. The man had the 
physical signs of congestion of the bases of the lungs, 
and was in a state of high fever and delirium. He at 
first refused to be hypnotized, but eventually gave his 
consent, and Dr. Bernheim sent him to sleep for five 
hours. The man awoke refreshed and free from pain and 
delirium, but the physical signs remained unaltered. A 
medical friend of mine, suffering from pleurisy and high 
fever and much pain, induced a colleague to hypnotize 
him, with the result that he experienced almost immediate 
relief, and, though the disease ran its usual course, there 
was but little subsequent pain. 

The naivete of some people who use things without 
knowing their nature reminds one of Moliere's bourgeois 
gentleman, who was surprised to find that he had been 
talking prose all his life. Among the medical men who 
have honoured me by coming to see some of my cases is 
a gentleman who seemed much struck at seeing the 
method I adopted with a rather refractory subject. I 
held his hand and stroked his forehead, while at the same 
time suggesting the symptoms of sleep. The gentleman 
told me afterwards the reason why he was so interested. 
It appears that he had a few months previously been in 
attendance on a very severe and protracted case of 
delirium tremens. The patient could get no sleep, and 
the doctor was afraid of death from exhaustion. On the 
third evening he resolved to make a strong effort to pro- 
duce sleep, and, if necessary, to sit up all night with the 
patient. He told the man that he would not leave him 
until he slept, and, sitting down by the bedside, he took 

100 cases. ... In eight or ten with brilliant success, in thirty or forty 
with fair success, and in the remainder with little or no result. The 
best results were obtained in cases of female derangements, muscular 
rheumatism, functional dyspepsia, constipation, insomnia, chronic 
pulmonary complaints, and dipsomania. Of the last-named I have 
treated five cases and have obtained two cures, i.e., the patients have 
remained total abstainers, in one case twenty and in the other fourteen 
months without any sign of a relapse.' 


his hand in one of his own, and with the other gently 
stroked the forehead. At the same time he talked quietly 
and reassuringly to him. In less than half an hour he 
was rewarded by seeing the restlessness entirely cease and 
the man drop off into a quiet sleep. That sleep, the 
doctor told me, lasted fourteen hours, and the patient 
awoke out of it weak, but cured. Manipulation about the 
head has in many persons a most soporific effect, and 
several persons have told me that they always become 
drowsy under their barbers' hands. 

It is said by Liebeault, on the authority of several 
writers,* that persons in the hypnotic state, whether it 
be induced spontaneously or by external means, are able 
to ingest without evil results much larger doses of poisons 
than can be taken in the normal condition, and that the 
bites of venomous serpents are very much less likely 
to prove fatal than in the waking state. t 

The action of hypnotism here is probably similar to 
that exerted by chloral in the treatment of tetanus, and 
of large quantities of alcohol as a remedy for snake-bites. 
The excitability of the nerve-centres is controlled, and 
excessive and exhausting discharge prevented, until the 
poison has been eliminated. I should imagine that 
hypnotic treatment is likely to prove useful in the treat- 
ment of tetanus and other spasmodic diseases depending 
on increased reflex excitability of the brain or spinal cord 
— not, be it understood, to the neglect of other treatment, 
but as an auxiliary. 

To show what suggestion may do, I will cite the case of 
a medical friend who asked me to hypnotize him and 
make suggestions about retaining his water. He had an 
organic stricture and felt the greatest dread of a catheter. 

* Op. cit., p. 222. 

f Several medical men who were present at a recent performance 
assure me that they saw somnambulic subjects swallow as much as 
80 grains of quinine in one dose, and that they watched for effects 
and found none. The same public performer made his unfortunate 
subjects drink large and almost poisonous quantities of paraffin oil, 
kerosene, and other nauseous compounds without producing any 


I found him hypnotizable to the second degree, and I 
made suggestions that he should be able to retain his 
water for four or five hours during the day and all night. 
After three or four sittings he assured me that, instead of 
having a call nearly every hour day and night, he is now 
able to go as long as most people. In this case I doubt if 
the treatment has not done more harm than good, for by 
relieving the symptoms it has enabled him to postpone 
the surgical interference which is urgently called for. I 
have frequently been able in the same way to relieve the 
dysuria of patients suffering from Bright's disease or 
diabetes, and sometimes even that due to prostatic 

Dr. Kingsbury, of Blackpool, has reported in the 
British Medical Journal and in his book a remarkable 
case of painless and rapid delivery in the hypnotic state. 
The patient, a young girl under fifteen, was hypnotized 
several times previous to the confinement, and was most 
deeply influenced.* Dr. Milne Bramwell has brought the 
surgical use of hypnotism prominently before the pro- 
fession, and operations were frequently performed at Leeds 
with him as hypnotic anaesthetist. I need hardly remind 
the reader that Dr. Esdaile, Presidency Surgeon at Cal- 
cutta, performed many capital operations under mesmeric 
anaesthesia forty years ago. 

Dr. Milne Bramwell excited great interest by showing 
the profession at Leeds how easy it was for him to 
hypnotize subjects at a distance by telegram or letter. 
One patient went into a deep trance immediately she 
handed the dentist a note, and in this state had several 
teeth painlessly extracted. Suggestion, of course, is the 
explanation of this result. On some occasions where it 

* Dr. Marie Dobrovolsky has described in the Revue de P Hypnotisme 
for March, 1891, a series of eight confinements in which she has em- 
ployed hypnotic suggestion. '1 he pains were either greatly diminished 
or abolished in all the cases, and that without interfering with the 
uterine contractions. In several of the cases only a slight hypnotic 
bleep was induced. In every instance the patient was previously 
hypnotized several times preparatory to the lying-in. 


has been necessary to break off the treatment prematurely, 
or where it has been advisable to continue it over long 
periods of time, I have found the following plan very 
efficacious : The patient is given a paper on which are 
drawn several lines and figures, and he is told that once 
a week, or as often as is necessary, he is to lie down in 
some place where he can be quiet, and hold the paper in 
his hand at a convenient distance from his eyes. After 
looking at it a few seconds with the desire and expecta- 
tion of sleep, he will pass into the stage of hypnosis he 
ordinarily assumes, and in that state the memory of the 
suggestions previously made will recur to his mind, and 
he will feel them producing their usual effect. It is im- 
portant to remember to tell the patient that this course is 
only to be adopted at the prescribed times, and that, in 
fact, it :s a medical prescription.* A paper is not always 
necessary : a patient whom I am in the habit of some- 
times hypnotizing by gentle stroking of his forehead tells 
me that he now frequently sends himself to sleep at night 
by imitating on himself this simple process. 

I ha\e been successful in a good many cases of neuras- 
thenia brought on from overwork, anxiety, or dissipation, 
and also in the depressed nervous condition sometimes 
seen tc persist after typhoid and other fevers. 

Dr. Clifford Allbutt says (' Gulstonian Lectures,' 1884), 
the neurasthenic patient has no reserve of energy. He 

* The following extract from a letter received from a patient who 
was for some months under my treatment explains the working of this 
method. The gentleman was a dipsomaniac of the very worst type, 
and after keeping sober for seven months he left England and soon 
relapsed. He then went to stay in a retreat where no treatment was 
employed but enforced abstention ; and as he told me that he found 
it much more difficult to abstain without hypnotism than with it, I 
adopted this plan. ' Doing as you suggested,' he writes. ' I made 
the first attempt last week, and it was completely successful. I went 
off a; once, bearing in mind that I was to awake in ten minutes. I 
took the time and found that 1 awoke to the minute. All your sug- 
gestions came back and repeated themselves, as it were, frequently. I 
could quite have believed that you were there making them, and they 
were spoken in your voice.' Surgeon-Major Xeilson first caused me 
to try this method. He practised it successfully in the case of a 
soldier, whom he cured of confirmed drunkenness of twenty years' 


has exhausted it perhaps in work, but frequently in dissi- 
pation, and it has never reaccumulated. He Jives, as it 
were, from hand to mouth on the day's supply, and a pre- 
carious existence it is. In such cases sleeplessness is a 
very prominent symptom, and even when sleep is obtained 
it will generally be found that it is of an unrefreshing char- 
acter, so that the patient wakes up saying he is more tired 
than when he went to bed. Theoretically, hypnotism 
ought to work wonders in these cases, and as a matter 
of fact the treatment is often most successful in them. 

I have twice been called in to see what hypnotisrr. could 
do to procure euthanasia. In one case the medicd man 
in attendance was afraid to give narcotics on acccunt of 
the state of the heart, and in the other the patient begged 
that nothing should be given to her to make her un- 
conscious. Hypnotism soothed their last hours to a 
remarkable extent, and afforded the greatest comfort to 
the relatives. It should certainly be thought of in cases 
where the patient's last hours are embittered by excessive 
irritability and restlessness and there are reasons against 
giving drugs. 

Dr. Woods (loc. cit.) relates his experience, and gives 
most gratifying testimony as to his success in over 200 
cases which he had treated by suggestion. These 
comprise many very bad cases of chronic alcoholism, 
mental disease — chiefly melancholia with delusions — 
headache, neuralgia, lumbago, gout, dyspepsia, epilepsy, 
chorea, and writer's cramp. His results correspond with 
those obtained by other observers. Dr. Woods states 
that he is often successful in curing his patients by 
suggestion alone without hypnosis. 

Such detailed experience as that of Dr. Woods is most 
convincing and valuable. It is corroborated by medical 
men all over the world. The latest pronouncement on 
the subject I have seen is that of the Hon. Dr. Creed, of 
Sydney, New South Wales, who uses hypnotism ex- 
tensively in his practice. He does not claim it as a 
panacea, but considers it as of great service in many 


cases of every-day occurrence. For instance, he says, 
when a good hypnotic subject has a bone fractured, 
hypnotism will not set the limb or directly repair the 
injury, but it may assist recovery by preventing pain and 
muscular spasm, and giving sleep and appetite. In a case 
of pleurisy he so completely removed the pain by sug- 
gestion that only the most careful physical examination 
and the continuance of an abnormally high temperature 
convinced him that it was actual and acute pleurisy. 

He relates success in many very bad cases of chronic 
alcoholism and the morphia habit. He considers it 
specific in insomnia, and most efficacious in asthma and 
in heart symptoms, even when dependent on organic 
disease. He has seen it helpful in relieving the severity 
of epilepsy, and curative in several severe cases of chorea. 

He has used it in several cases of gastric ulcer, and 
speaks with enthusiasm of the results he has obtained. He 
finds, he says, the stomach can, if pain be prevented, 
digest a fair quantity of nourishing food without difficulty ; 
and the cessation of the state of semi-starvation in which 
the patient has lived soon brings about such an improve- 
ment in nutrition that the ulcers heal. He finds it very 
successful in curing vomiting, and even in preventing 
sea-sickness. He says : ' For obstinate vomiting I believe 
that in suggestion we possess a remedy which will prove 
effective when all ordinary ones have been tried and failed.' 
He also advocates hypnotism as the best remedy for 
megrim, incontinence of urine, and many forms of 
neuralgia ; and affirms that no good hypnotic subject 
need suffer from sea-sickness. 

Dr. Van Renterghem gets more cases of neurasthenia 
than of any other disease in his clinique at Amsterdam, 
and reports having treated 118 cases during the four years 
from 1893 to 1897. Of these eighty-six were men and 
thirty-two women. He states that thirty-one were cured 
and sixty -one were much benefited by hypnotic treat- 
ment. A very good showing in such an intractable 
disease. Neurasthenia, as Dr. Savile and other writers 


show, depends upon so many causes that it does not do 
to treat every patient alike. Tolle causam is as important 
an axiom here as in any class of case. If the condition 
depend on central nervous causes, such as mental shock, 
overwork, excessive venery, or if it follows debilitating 
disease, like typhoid fever or influenza, I believe hypnotism 
is the best treatment, and that it alone will cure the 
patient cito et jucunde. If the neurasthenia is the result 
of mal-assimilation and fermentation of food, suggestion 
will help to promote eupepsia, and whatever the cause, it 
will, if the patient is hypnotizable, relieve the mental 
gloom which weighs him down, and thus hasten his 
recovery. Neurasthenic patients are apt to be difficult. 
Being self-centred and of low vitality, it is not easy to 
gain their attention ; and they are, as we all know, inclined 
to be sceptical, hopeless and averse to giving treatment a 
fair trial. They constitute a large proportion of those 
patients who enter the physician's consulting-room with 
the announcement that he is the thirtieth or fortieth 
doctor they have consulted, and that no one can do them 
any good. Success in the treatment of such cases 
depends a great deal on the doctor being able to inspire 
confidence and to employ suggestion whether with or 
without hypnotism. 

The following case presents many points of interest. 
In 1893 an American working man came to me with a 
note from a well-known omniscient editor, and this was 
his story : He was thirty years of age, and had been for 
ten years a labourer in the shipyards at Boston. He had 
led a dissipated life, but was very strong and well until he 
had a bad attack of influenza in 1892. This left him so 
weak that he could not go back to heavy work, and if he 
attempted to stoop there was severe pain in the lumbar 
muscles. Ordinary remedies did not set him on his 
legs, so he studied his case for himself, and found in a 
medical work on influenza in the public library in Boston 
laudatory references to hypnotism in the treatment of the 
sequelae of the disease, and the statement that the system 


was practised at Nancy in France. Without further 
inquiry he sold his effects, and with the money took a 
steerage passage to Havre. Thence he went to Paris, 
where he found he had spent all his money and was still 
a long way from his goal. He went to the American 
Consul, who advised him to come to London, and gave 
him money for his fare. Arriving in London, he wrote 
to the omniscient gentleman referred to, who is as well 
known in America as in England, and he referred him 
to me. I hypnotized him, and he became at once 
somnambulic. I let him sleep for several hours, and 
suggested increased vitality and freedom from pain in the 
back. These suggestions, combined with movements and 
massage, were repeated five or six times during the next 
ten days, and then the patient announced himself as 
cured. He set off to look for work, and found it as a 
dock labourer. He came to tell me that he could work 
all day, carrying heavier loads than most of his mates ; 
and that he was saving up his wages so as to get back as 
soon as possible to his own country. 

No doubt the trouble and expense this patient was put 
to helped to get him into a suitable frame of mind for 
cure from the treatment he had set his heart upon. If 
he had only known it, there were at the time at least two 
able physicians practising hypnotism in Boston, and it 
would be interesting to know if the treatment would 
have been equally successful if he had found it at his 
door. I think it would, for he was a good subject, and 
one was able to drive suggestion well home. This strong, 
self-sufficient working man possessed the spirit of the 
pilgrims of the Middle Ages, and no doubt the grotto at 
Lourdes claims many such votaries, who return from a 
pilgrimage there cured from their diseases. 

The profession is indebted to Dr. Milne Bramwell for 
much information concerning the therapeutic uses of 
hypnotism. He has frequently demonstrated its availa- 
bility as an anaesthetic in surgery, and he has brought an 
exhaustless fund of patience to bear on the most obstinate 


cases. He has described a case of pruritis vulvae which 
had resisted all attempts at hypnotization for sixty-seven 
times, but he succeeded in inducing somnambulism the 
sixty-eighth time, and the patient was cured ! 

He showed at Leeds a case of aphemia with paresis of 
the legs, which had lasted for three years, which he had 
cured in a few days by hypnotism : a case of hyperidrosis 
existent in a girl since infancy, with a patch of skin on 
the left wrist so affected that the perspiration was con- 
tinually dripping from it to the ground. She was cured 
almost immediately. A case of intercostal neuralgia in a 
boy was cured in three sittings. In four cases of Meniere's 
disease he found great improvement was brought about 
in the hearing, and the vertigo was almost entirely re- 
moved. Dr. Bramwell tells me that he has never seen 
any harm done by judicious employment of hypnotism, 
and this statement coming from him must be acknow- 
ledged to carry great weight. 

A somewhat similar case of hyperidrosis is reported by 
Dr. A. Charpentier.* The patient, a young man of twenty, 
had suffered from excessive sweating of the hands for five 
years, apparently dating from a mental shock. Inter- 
mittent to begin with, it had for two years been con- 
tinuous, and was so abundant that when the hands were 
held down the perspiration flowed from the finger-tips as 
from a filter. Many forms of treatment had been tried, 
including astringents, ergotine, atropine, scarification, 
electricity, but without success, and at last Dr. Char- 
pentier bethought himself of hypnotism. After some 
difficulty the patient became a good subject and com- 
pletely somnambulic. Improvement immediately resulted 
from suggestions directed to the central origin of the 
trouble, and the young man was shown cured at a 
meeting of the French Societe d'Hypnologie et de 

So far I have only attempted to treat one case of hyper- 
idrosis by suggestion. The patient is a young lady who 
* Revue de VHypnotisme, January, 1900. 


came under treatment in 1S99 for severe and almost con- 
tinuous frontal headache. This was speedily cured by 
suggestion, though it had for a long time resisted all the 
usual remedies, and she was only slightly hypnotizable. 
She then told me of her other trouble — excessive perspira- 
tion of the brows and nose, brought on especially by any 
mental emotion, and a source of endless distress and 
annoyance to her. 

Probably a profound degree of hypnosis is necessary 
before suggestion has sufficient influence over the central 
nervous system to control such a local condition. I never 
could get more than a slight torpor and drowsiness with 
this patient, and the condition underwent no change. 

The medical world is familiar with instances where a 
treatment which has been highly praised in some quarters 
has failed to produce good results when tried elsewhere. 
Apostolus method of applying electricity in uterine 
fibroids, and Charcot's suspension treatment for loco- 
motor ataxy, are cases in point. Neglect of apparentlv 
trivial technicalities may explain some of these dis- 

Practitioners of the Nancy school all over the world are 
agreed as to the efficacy of hypnotic suggestion, and of 
the absolute importance of observing points of detail. 
Bernheim asserts, and Forel agrees with him, that no one 
is entitled to speak with authority on the subject until 
he succeeds in hypnotizing at least 80 per cent, of the 
hospital patients on whom he tries the treatment. 
Hypnotic suggestion is a psychical treatment, and to use 
it successfully demands tact, judgment, medical know- 
ledge, and knowledge of one's patient, or, in the words of 
Dr. Felkin, a firm will, unlimited patience, and a calm 

Note — The experience of a scientific and critical friend, Dr. B , 

whom I have frequently hypnotized, is interesting. He is a healthy 
man of forty-five, of dark complexion and lymphatic temperament, 
somewhat hypochondriacal, and a clever and successful practitioner. 
He is a good subject, and is sometimes affected to the third, and some- 
times only to the first, degree of hypnosis. For Lie'beault's 'stages,' 
see p. 51. 


When told that he cannot open his eyes he makes no attempt to do 
so unless strongly urged to try, when he proceeds in the ineffectual 
manner already described. With much effort he is generally able to 
move his arm, in spite of my prohibition, but the force employed is 
evidently entirely out of proportion to the result achieved. In the 
hypnotic state he feels absolutely tranquil and at rest, and when ex- 
horted to exert himself he reflects : ' Of course I can do any of these 
things if I only try, but I am not going to disturb myself by trying.' 
When told that he will open his eyes and be wide awake when I count 
fifteen, he makes up his mind not to comply, and yet when I reach 
fifteen he cannot help becoming wide awake. After removing a real 
pain, such as occipital neuralgia, I have frequently, in the same 
subject,. induced a pain localized by suggestion — e.g., in the eye or fore- 
finger. Dr. B frequently feels a sensation of numbness, heaviness, 

and 'pins and needles ' in a limb for some minutes after I have told 
him it is fixed and immovable. It is interesting to note that having 
been frequently hypnotized does not prevent him from successfully 
operating on others ; and he is beginning to use the Nancy method in 
his practice. In this case and all others I find the patient's co-opera- 
tion is absolutely necessary to success, and I have always failed to 
produce any effect upon him and others when I have either asked them 
to resist, or when there has been some disturbing emotional element 
present. This is an important fact in face of the statement sometimes 
advanced — that after being hypnotized the patient is unable to resist 
subsequent attempts. I speak here only of medical hypnotism. 
Though I have failed to find the inhalation of chloroform of much use 
in inducing hypnosis in the four or five intractable cases where I have 
tried it, such has not been the experience of some other observers. 
Dr. Abdon Sanchez Herrero, Professor of Clinical Medicine in the 
University of Valladolid, contributed to the congress a paper on 
'Forced Hypnotization ' (Comples Rettdus, p. 212). He, following 
up the experiments of Dr. Rifat, of Salonica, found that there is a short 
period during the inhalation of chloroform when the subject is as open 
to outside suggestion as in somnambulism, and this stage is, he says, 
at the end of the period of nervous excitement, and before that of 
delirium — a space of very short duration, sometimes only of a few 
seconds. Dr. Herrero experimented on six patients, whom he had 
previously found to be absolutely insusceptible to hypnotism after 
repeated and long-continued attempts. He failed in the first two 
cases owing, as he thinks, to allowing the favourable moment to pass ; 
but in the other four he was successful in hitting upon the exact 
period of 'suggestibility.' To the first he suggested ready suscepti- 
bility to ordinary hypnotism the following day, and as a result the 
hitherto intractable patient was hypnotized by a few minutes' simple 
fixation of the eyes the next morning. He suggested to the other three 
patients daily increasing susceptibility 10 the action of chloroform, and 
finally the production of anaesthesia and unconsciousness without the 
drug. In each case he was successful within a week in reducing the 
quantity of chloroform to the vanishing-point, and in inducing what 
was practically hypnotic somnambulism by simple suggestion. Dr. 
Herrero has continued his researches, and feels himself justified in 
asserting that in chloroform we have an aid to hypnosis which will 
enable us to hypnotize the most intractable cases, and he proposes it 
as an alternative to the terribly fatiguing and somewhat repulsive 
method pursued by Dr. A. Voisin, at the Salpetriere, in cases of 
insanity. This paper throws a light on the induction of anaesthesia in 


Mr. Brain's case (quoted p. 10), and also on Bernheim's assertion 
that he finds the action of chloroform greatly reinforced by suggestions 
made whilst administering the anaesthetic. 

Herrero, Von Schrenk-Notzing, Wetterstrand, and other authorities 
have made considerable use of chloroform for the purpose of quieting 
nervous excitement and breaking oft" the life of relation, and so favour- 
ing the induction of hypnosis. They express themselves as well 
pleased with their results. Dr. Van Velsen, of Brussels, tells me that 
he succeeded in hypnotizing a friend after giving him 10 grains of 
chloral whom he never could influence before, though he had made 
many attempts ; subsequently the patient was susceptible without 
chloral, and became a somnambulist. 

Dr. Barwise says : ' I have had no difficulty in hypnotizing patients 
taking bromide of potassium or chloral hydrate, and from some 
observations I made a year or two ago upon the action of cannabis 
indica in the treatment of sick headache, 1 was led to the conclusion 
that this drug predisposed to hypnosis, and a recent experience has 
removed all doubt of it ' (op. at., p. 7). 

I should here like to add a word of caution against 
regarding hypnotism as a panacea in every case of drunken- 
ness. I am thoroughly convinced of the value of hypnotic 
suggestion as an aid to moral reform, and look forward to 
a time when it will be used in all retreats for inebriates 
and other reformative institutions ; but I recognise its 
limits, and I know that its indiscriminate employment will 
only bring disappointment to the patients and discredit to 
the system. 

When we consider that hypnotism simply intensifies to 
a notable extent the influence of suggestion on the bodily 
functions and mental characteristics, we see how its 
curative scope is necessarily limited by pathological and 
other conditions, and how illogical it is to expect miracles 
in the way of moral reformation from it alone. Granted 
the patient has preserved some degree of self-control, and 
has a strong desire to be cured, it is possible that success 
may result from the use of hypnotic suggestion even when 
the surroundings continue unsatisfactory. Under such 
circumstances I know that publicans have been cured 
without leaving their business, and soldiers without quit- 
ting their regiment ; but I regard these cases as excep- 
tional, and in long-standing or inherited dipsomania 
removal from temptation is an essential condition of 


It is important to bear in mind how drunkenness varies 
in degree and kind. Between the man who drinks to 
excess when occasion offers, and who cannot resist the 
solicitations of friends, and the dipsomaniac, there is a 
great difference. Though the ordinary drunkard may 
become a dipsomaniac, this is not usually the case. The 
drunkard is mad because he drinks ; the dipsomaniac 
drinks because he is mad. Dipsomania is a form of 
impulsive insanity, which is nearly always inherited, and 
which manifests itself by uncontrollable fits, during which 
the patient is obviously insane. Dr. Ball, speaking of 
this disease, says : ' The prognosis is absolutely hopeless, 
especially when it depends on heredity, and is not due to 
acquired habit. Such patients are never cured, though 
the methods of treatment are as varied as they are 
numerous. ... If there is any chance of safety for them, 
it lies only in their being placed under restraint for a pro- 
longed period — I may say for an indefinitely prolonged 
period' (o/>. cit., p. 797). 

I have treated during the last twelve years nearly 200 
cases of chronic alcoholism, and have found hypnotic 
suggestion has proved completely curative in about a 
third of these. This is a good result, considering that 
in no case was the patient confined in a retreat or kept 
away from his home or business for longer than a 
month. I only stipulated that for a specified time he must 
be under responsible supervision, and must lead a healthy 
and rational life. One generally found self-control was 
rapidly regained, and it became safe to gradually give him 
more liberty. The immense gain of this treatment in 
suitable cases over that of confining patients in a retreat 
for twelve months — the least time the advocates of this 
system recommend — is apparent. Not only does the 
patient keep in touch with his family and business, but he 
is saved the demoralizing effects of a loafing and idle life. 
I know inebriate retreats are necessary, and many of 
them are admirably managed, but association with other 
drunkards cannot be beneficial, and it is impossible to 


find rational employment for all the inmates of a retreat 
for the better classes.* I should like to see every drunkard 
given the chance of speedy and pleasant cure by hypnotic 
suggestion under favourable conditions. If it failed, I 
should consign him to an agricultural colony for inebriates 
conducted on somewhat similar lines to those adopted at 
the excellent institution for epileptics at Chalfont. Work, 
discipline, and hygienic surroundings are the remedies for 
chronic alcoholism, as idleness, laxity of aim and principle, 
and unhealthy surroundings, are its principle causes. 

I have embodied my views on this subject in a paper I 
read at the annual meeting of the British Medical Associa- 
tion at Nottingham in 189 1, which is published in enlarged 
form by Messrs. Churchill; and I herewith (p. 210) repro- 
duce a table from a paper I read at the International 
Congress on Psychology held at Munich in 1896. 

Among my successful cases are certainly seven of real 
dipsomania. In nearly all cases I have seen partial or 
temporary success, and in many instances where there was 
relapse, cure would, I think, have resulted had circum- 
stances been more favourable. I have never seen hypnotism 
weaken the character where it has been properly used ; 
but on the contrary it is interesting to note the almost 
invariable improvement in disposition which takes place 

* The Dalrymple Home, Rickmansworth, is one of the best-known 
and best-managed retreats in the country. In its report for 1899 it 
states that, of the 518 men who had passed through it since it was 
opened, 169 are doing well. This proportion and mine may appear 
small alongside of systems which ' never ' fail, or which claim to cure 
over 90 per cent. The explanation lies in the fact that our reports 
give a more accurate account of what happens. It is easy enough to 
coax a drunkard into sobriety for a few weeks, and then to claim him 
as a cure. In one well-known instance twelve drunkards were treated 
by a vaunted specific, and it was reported in three months, with great 
flourish of trumpets, that they had all been cured. Alas ! I ain in- 
formed that after twelve months every one of them had relapsed. 
Inebriates are generally emotional, and easily acted upon by their 
environment. Well fed. petted, flattered, the excitement of their new 
situation sufficed to keep them sober for a few weeks. But the object 
achieved by the advertisers, their attentions to the patients ceased, 
they were thrown on their own resources, and speedily resumed their 
old habits. It will be noticed in the accompanying table how many 
of my patients relapsed after three months, and I look on that as a 
somewhat critical period. 



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under the influence of moral suggestions. It is my 
practice to make the suggestions in the direction of 
evoking the patient's own powers ; and it would be mani- 
festly wrong to introduce a personal element into the 
treatment, or to make the patient sober in order that he 
may please the hypnotist ! But in many quarters that 
seems to be the idea of treatment, and in cases so treated 
I can well understand that when the personal influence of 
the hypnotist is removed the patient may relapse. I 
suggest : First, abhorrence of drink and its results ; 
secondly, absence of craving for it ; and thirdly, increased 
self-control, so that if temptation does arise there may be 
power to resist it. If the patient is only slightly influenced, 
or if it is only necessary to slightly supplement the power 
of his unaided will, these suggestions are all one need 
make ; but if he is a person of very weak character, and is 
exposed to exceptional temptation, it is well to make the 
deterrent influence stronger by exciting a feeling of extreme 
physical repulsion, and this can easily be done in the case 
of somnambulists. One has only to tell the patient that 
if he takes beer or spirits they will at once cause him to 
vomit, and then on waking him compel him to drink a 
glass of beer to produce such an attack of nausea and 
sickness as he will remember for many a day. Even in 
such a case it will, no doubt, be possible for the subject to 
re-educate himself to like liquor, just as a schoolboy who 
will go on smoking, though every pipe at first makes him 
sick, may at last overcome the repugnance and become a 
confirmed smoker. 

But in the combination of moral and physical influences 
thus produced we possess a very powerful lever. If a man 
has been made a drunkard through the solicitations of 
fast companions, his power of resistance is reduced to nil, 
and the offer of a drink has so often been followed by its 
absorption, that the sequence of events becomes automatic, 
an ideo-motor reflex action ; but let such a man be 
hypnotized, and in this state be told that alcohol is poison, 
and that to offer him a drink is to grossly insult him — as 


in a case of a confirmed drunkard reported by Surgeon- 
Major Neilson — and we form a new inhibitory tract, which 
by repeatedly being traversed becomes well worn and 
habitual in place of the other. But it is plain that we 
must not expect immediate cure. Old channels cannot be 
destroyed, any more than new ones can be formed, in the 
course of a few days. 

After a period of treatment, varying in different cases, a 
new personality or ' conscience ' is produced, and the 
patient can return to his former associations and friends 
so protected as to be safe from relapse. The time neces- 
sary for restraint or close observation is from three to six 
weeks, and after that he should be under observation for 
at least a year, and the suggestion should be repeated at 
lengthening intervals during that time. It is by no means 
necessary that the patient should spend any portion of the 
time in a retreat if efficient control and observation can 
be exercised by a trustworthy relation, friend, or attendant. 
We must remember that at first every public-house offers 
a suggestion to drink, and every boon companion calls up 
associations of ideas connected with former self-indul- 
gence, and opposed to the suggestions we have endeavoured 
to implant. 

I was recently induced to undertake the case of a medical 
man, whose surroundings were extremely unsatisfactory, 
but the patient expressed a great desire to be cured, and 
proved a very susceptible subject. Dipsomaniacs are 
notoriously untrustworthy, and in a few days I found on 
inquiry that his protestations were false, and that he had 
made no attempt to avoid temptation, but rather put him- 
self in its way. Under such circumstances the treatment 
had not a chance, and as he refused to submit to restraint 
I at once abandoned it. 

In another case, which has since turned out most 
successful, the gentleman had a relapse at the end of a 
week, in consequence of being insufficiently guarded from 
special temptation. He at once told me of his fault, and 
explained how difficult he had found it to act against 


hypnotic suggestion and take the first glass of spirits. It 
was a real battle, so he said, with his new conscience, in 
which conscience nearly won the day. After a month's 
hypnotic treatment he seemed positively proof against 
temptation, and I could trust him anywhere alone. It is 
now some years since the treatment was commenced, and 
he has remained a consistent abstainer, though he has 
paid me four or five visits for renewal and reinforcement 
of the anti-alcoholic suggestions. 

If the contention of many of Charcot's school and 
others were correct, and if hypnosis were the induction 
of a morbid state which takes the place of the disease, I 
should still consider its exhibition justified in the treatment 
of confirmed drunkenness ; and I look forward to a time 
when it will be used as a matter of routine treatment in 
our retreats, greatly to the increased utility of those 
excellent institutions. Of course, many cases will resist 
hypnotic treatment, as they resist everything else. Such 
cases are, I believe, absolutely hopeless, and it will be a 
good thing when the law allows us to keep them under 
permanent restraint. 

My experience is very much the same as that of other 
physicians who are practising hypnotism all over the world 
— Liebeault, Bernheim, Forel, Schrenk-Xotzing, Wetter- 
strand, Hamilton-Osgood, Neilson, Bramwell, Kingsbury, 
Cruise, Woods, and others. Berillon has contributed two 
papers of great interest on the subject in the Revue de 
VHypnotisme (August and September, 1890), which entirely 
corroborate the above remarks. 

In the treatment of morphinomania a different course 
must be adopted to that pursued in managing drunkenness. 
In the latter the supply of alcohol had better be cut off at 
once, but this course would be highly dangerous in the 
morphia habit, even with the aid of hypnotism. The 
quantity may be gradually decreased, until at the end of 
a week the drug should be discontinued altogether. This 
step is followed by a gastric crisis, during which the 


patient should be frequently hypnotized, and be kept up 
by nourishing foods and stimulants. 

There are cases on record in which cures have been 
sudden, but I should greatly distrust their permanence 
except in very exceptional instances. 

Many people have objected to hypnotism because they 
consider it as interference with freewill. Do those who 
talk about a drunkard's freewill understand that they are 
speaking of a thing which has ceased to exist ? A dipso- 
maniac is reported to have said that if he were given a 
glass of whisky, and told that drinking it would immedi- 
ately consign him to the pains of hell, which might be 
exposed to his gaze, he would be unable to resist drain- 
ing the glass. An occasional success in treating such a 
frightful disorder would justify the trial of hypnotism 
in dipsomania, even if it were surrounded with ten 
times the dangers with which people credit it. As a 
matter of fact, the treatment offers considerable hope 
of cure even in desperate cases, and it is absolutely free 
from risk. 

The above observations apply with increased cogency to 
treatment of the morphia habit by hypnotic suggestion. 
It is well known that this habit is more deeply impressed 
on the system than alcoholism, and that morphinomaniacs 
are even less trustworthy in their resolutions and protesta- 
tions than drunkards. In treating the morphia habit, it is 
therefore necessary to have the patient under very efficient 
observation, and it is desirable to induce the most advanced 
degree of hypnosis possible, in order that suggestion may 
act with the most complete effect. 

Dr. Wetterstrand records a series of thirty-eight cases, 
of which he treated twenty-eight successfully by sugges- 
tion (Zeitschrift fiir Hypnotismus, March, 1896). 

It is very gratifying to those interested in the subject to 
observe how hypnotism is being taken up by practitioners 
all over the country, not as a speciality or panacea, but 
as an adjunct in the treatment of cases which have not 
proved very amenable to ordinary medication. 


Drs. Cruise, Fitzgerald, Richard Hayes, Murphy, Red- 
mond, and M'Cullagh, of Dublin, related cases and bore 
testimony to the value of hypnotism at the meeting of the 
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, on March 6, 1891 
{Dublin Journal of Medical Science, May, 1891). All these 
physicians and surgeons had made trial of the treatment, 
both in their private and in their hospital practice, and 
spoke from personal observation. Sir W. Cruise has 
kindly informed me that the lady dipsomaniac referred to 
by him and Dr. Murphy continues well, and is apparently 
cured. He has supplied me with information regarding 
other interesting cases, and among these one of diabetes 
mellitus. The patient is a young man whose condition 
was very serious. By hypnotic suggestion the urine has 
been reduced in quantity from 24 to 8 pints per diem, 
and the sugar proportionately, while the distressing 
thirst has been entirely relieved. Sir William says that, 
of course, he does not expect a cure, but it is a great 
thing to have been able so greatly to have mitigated the 
symptoms. His experience coincides with that of Van 
Renterghem and Van Eeden, who have been successful in 
their treatment of diabetes by suggestion, and who have 
also found it of value in Bright's disease. The treatment 
of diabetes by hypnotic suggestion raises an interesting 
question. We know that this disease is often of psychical 
origin, and may follow serious emotional disturbance, 
such as fear, anxiety, anger, and deep grief where they 
occur in predisposed individuals. Sometimes ' psychical 
shock' is combined with bodily injury, as in a case 
reported by Professor Senator (vide British Medical Journal, 
February 17, 1900), when diabetes came on fourteen days 
after lightning-stroke. Suggestion by working centrally 
on the nervous system may be expected in these cases 
to reverse the morbid process and thus effect ameliora- 
tion, and perhaps ultimate cure. Dr. Draper, of Hudders- 
field, contributed a paper at the annual meeting of the 
British Gynaecological Society, held at Newcastle in 
June, 1891. In this he records some interesting cases 


he has treated by hypnotism. One of obstinate hysterical 
vomiting is especially striking. Another is a case in which 
he found suggestion of extraordinary efficacy in relieving 
symptoms and promoting convalescence after he had 
removed the ovaries, thus corroborating my own experience 
in such cases. His paper is to be found in the Provincial 
Medical Journal for July, 1891. Dr. Draper tells me he 
has used hypnotism with gratifying results in eighteen 
cases of midwifery, and that he has performed a consider- 
able number of surgical operations under hypnotic anaes- 
thesia. Dr. Jane Walker, of the New Hospital for 
Women, London, records an interesting case of confine- 
ment under hypnosis in the Revue de VHypnotisme, 1896. 
The manner in which many English practitioners have 
taken up hypnotism is exactly that advocated by Professor 
Pitres in addressing his students at Bordeaux : ' Be 
physicians, gentlemen, and not hypnotizers ; but learn 
how to apply hypnotism, and be ready to make use of it 
in suitable cases.' 


Inhibition. — Definition. — Dynamogenesis. — Theories of Brown- 
Se"quard. — Lauder Brunton. — Interference. — Experiments. 

I propose in the following chapter to consider briefly the 
subject of inhibition, as it seems to me to be the key to 
the proper comprehension of hypnotic phenomena. The 
subject is a difficult one, and I would refer the student 
desirous of fully studying it to consult the works of Lauder 
Brunton,* Brown-Sequard,+ and Heidenhain.+ 

Inhibition is defined as being ' the more or less com- 
plete arrest of present functional activity of a structure 
or organ by a restraining influence exerted over it through 
a nerve centre,' § or more fully by Dr. Lauder Brunton as 
1 the arrest of the functions of a structure or organ by the 
action upon it of another, while its power to execute those 
functions is still retained and can be manifested as soon as 
the restraining power is removed.' 

It will be seen from these definitions that inhibition is 
quite a different thing to the loss of function which occurs 
in paralysis, and the cessation of function which follows 
exhaustion. There are two characteristics which are of 
great importance in the consideration of the relationship 
between inhibition and hypnotism : the suddenness of its 
induction and removal, and the want of apparent propor- 

* " On the Nature of Inhibition and the Action of Drugs upon it ' 
(reprinted from Nature), London, 1883. ' On Inhibition, Peripheral 
and Central,' West Riding Reports, 1874. 

t ' Sur 1' Inhibition et la Dynamogenesie,' Gazette Hebdominaire de 
Me'decine, etc., It82. 

1 ' Hypnotism, or Animal Magnetism.' London, 1888. 

J ' Lexicon of Medical Terms,' New Sydenham Society. 


tion between the cause and effect — i.e., a relatively small 
excitation being capable of determining most extensive 
results. Under ordinary circumstances stimulation of a 
motor nerve by an electric current produces in response 
the contraction of the muscles to which the nerve is 
distributed, and irritation of a sensory nerve produces a 
sensory reaction ; e.g.. stimulation of the gustatory nerve 
arouses taste sensations, of the optic nerve visual sensa- 
tions, etc. But stimulation of a nerve is not always followed 
by functional activity. On the contrary, it is sometimes 
followed by cessation of activity. ' Afferent impulses 
reaching a nervous centre may, instead of stimulating it 
to activity, stop or inhibit an activity previously going on. 
Whenever in any tissue energy is being set free, nervous 
energy brought to bear on the tissue may affect the rate 
or amount of energy set free in two different ways : on 
the one hand, it may increase or quicken the setting free 
of energy ; on the other hand, it may slacken, hinder, or 
inhibit the setting free of energy ' (Foster's ' Physiology,' 

p. 185). 

The recognition of the part inhibition plays in vital 
phenomena is undoubtedly one of the most important 
discoveries which have been made in physiology since 
Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood. It throws 
light upon an immense number of phenomena previously 
inexplicable, and enables us to form theories of a satis- 
factory nature about many vital problems. It offers an 
explanation of the nature of hypnotic states, which is at 
least as satisfactory as that we have of the action of many 

The nervous mechanism of the heart affords the best 
and most commonly cited example of inhibitory action, 
and here it was first studied by Weber and Claude Bernard 
in 1S4S. The cardiac ganglia derived from the sym- 
pathetic preside over the movements of the organ, and 
in response to the stimulus of the intraventricular blood- 
pressure cause rhythmical contraction of the cavities. 
Their action is, however, controlled by the pneumogastric 


nerve, through which impulses of an inhibitory nature are 
constantly travelling and acting as a restraining force. 
Paralysis of the pneumogastric, of course, does away with 
its action, and hence we have, among other symptoms of 
this condition, increased rapidity of the contractions of 
the heart from withdrawal of the inhibitor}- influence. 
This is demonstrated by dividing the pneumogastric in 
animals, and it has also been seen in cases where it has 
been possible to exert pressure on the nerve in men. 
Thus, the late Professor Czermack had a small glandular 
tumour in close contact with the right pneumogastric 
nerve, and he was able by pressure on this to compress 
the nerve to any extent he wished, and either to com- 
pletely stop the heart or simply to retard it (Lauder 
Brunton, 'Inhibition,' West Riding Reports, 1874). 

If when the heart is beating regularly, the branches of 
the pneumogastric going to it are stimulated by the 
passage through them of an interrupted electric current, 
the heart will stop beating, and it will be found flaccid 
and in a state of muscular relaxation. This happens 
when the current is of sufficient intensity ; but it may be 
insufficiently powerful to stop the action altogether, and 
in that case we shall see all degrees of interference from 
mere slight retardation to complete arrest. 

But the action of the heart may be inhibited by in- 
fluencing it through the pneumogastric in other ways. 
Gob's tapping experiment illustrates this. He exposed 
the heart and vessels, and also the intestines, in a frog, 
and he found that tapping on the intestines with the 
scalpel handle had the effect of stopping the heart. The 
practical bearing of this experiment is seen in cases 
where sudden death follows a blow on the stomach or 
abdomen. The heart is stopped by an intense stimulation 
of the pneumogastric through its gastric branches. 

These examples show the effect of inhibition of 
mechanical origin, but we constantly see how the heart 
may be inhibited by influences of psychical origin. If 
the stimulation is intense, and the organ weak, absolute 


stoppage of the heart may ensue ; and as it is with the 
interrupted current, so it is with the effects of emotion 
and shock. The heart may either stop or its action may 
simply be interfered with. 

As in the heart we find two nervous agencies at work, 
the one exerting an exciting and the other a restraining 
influence, so it is in respect to all our functions and 
organs. There is a system of action and counter-action, 
and in a state of health there is a proper relative balance 
maintained between the two. There is interaction of 
nervous force, and no function or organ in normal life has 
full and unrestricted play, for its activity is modified by 
the interferences of nervous impulses arriving from other 
parts. Some of these impulses are of an inhibitory 
nature, and the amount of response to stimulation 
depends not only on the strength of the stimulus, but 
also on that of the counteracting inhibitory impulse. 
For example, a person receives a violent blow, and a 
nervous impulse of great force and tension is sent from 
the seat of injury to the brain centres. The natural 
response to the stimulus will be a correspondingly strong 
discharge of energy from the receiving centres along the 
motor tracts, and vigorous muscular contraction taking 
the form of retaliatory violence will result ; this action 
may be called cerebro-reflex, and the less the injured 
person is controlled by reason, the simpler will be the 
mechanism of the act. But in educated and disciplined 
communities, cerebro-reflex movements are not allowed 
their full play, for the functions of the highest controlling 
centres come into action; and in addition to excito-motor 
impulses sent from the motor centres, there are other 
impulses discharged from the centres of the highest level, 
and these will be of an inhibitory nature, and will modify 
those emanating from the lower levels. If the assaulted 
person has so developed his faculties of restraint and 
judgment that they have become the dominant features 
of his character, he will reflect that instead of returning 
the blow, it may be better to either take no notice of it, 


or proceed by legal action. In either case a strong in- 
hibitory impulse from the highest centres will neutralize 
the cerebro-reiiex one. If the injury is severe, or the 
power of restraint not fully developed, the action of the 
highest level may not be sufficient to entirely neutralize 
the reflex response, and the list may be clenched or a cry 
uttered. It is evident, then, that not only function, but 
conduct also, depends largely on inhibition. 

The controlling action of the highest centres in inhibit- 
ing cerebro-reflex action is seen in the exaggerated start a 
person makes on receiving a sensory impression when his 
mind is not ready to receive it ; for instance, the touch of 
a friend's hand on the shoulder will cause one to almost 
jump from the chair, if the faculties of attention are off 
guard, or if one is in a state of reverie. Similarly, in 
hypnosis (inhibition of the cells of the highest cortical 
centres) reflex actions are generally exaggerated. 

Inhibition may be either very extended in its action or 
extremely circumscribed. An example of the former is 
seen in the tremendous effect which follows irritation of 
the small mass of gray matter (the vital knot) situated at 
the upper part of the medulla oblongata. An intense 
inhibitory impulse is discharged, and the result is instant 
death from fatal interference with the functions of the 
heart and lungs : general inhibition is produced. Its con- 
finement to a very small area is seen when the auriculo- 
cervical nerve in a rabbit is irritated. Paralysis from 
inhibition of the vaso-motor nerves of the ear is produced 
with immediate flushing of the part. Brown-Sequard has 
obtained some typical illustrations of inhibitory action. 
By passing carbonic acid through the upper part of the 
larynx of a dog, and so irritating the peripheral endings of 
the laryngeal nerves, respiratory movements were at once 
checked, though communication between the lungs and 
the external air was freely maintained by means of a 
tube, and though the gas was prevented acting on the 
bronchial mucous membrane by division of the trachea. 
On the other hand, when he irritated the pharyngeal 


mucous membrane by directing the vapour of chloroform 
upon it, he found that the contrary effect was produced, 
and respiratory movements became greatly exaggerated 
and accelerated, though the quantity applied was very 
small, and it was prevented reaching the lungs.* 

In the case of general inhibition of vital functions 
following irritation of the vital knot, we have seen the 
most intense and widespread action of this force, and in 
the different degrees of cardiac interference produced by 
stimulation of the pneumogastric we have an example of 
a more localized but still intense form of inhibition. As 
Nasmyth's hammer can either weld a gigantic bar of 
steel or crack a walnut, so inhibition has all grades of 
action, and its effects may be extremely circumscribed or 

For example : No function of organic life is more in- 
fluenced by mental states than that of salivation. The 
thought of savoury food when one is hungry is sufficient 
to make the salivary glands secrete and the mouth water, 
while fear or disgust will have an exactly opposite effect, 
and the mouth becomes dry and parched. t 

* Brown-Sequard has pointed out how in the oncoming of sleep in- 
hibitory impulses affect different muscles in order : the eyelids become 
heavy from inhibitory action on the levatores palpebrarum, the head 
tends to fall from inhibition of the muscles which support it. At the 
same time an inhibitory impulse affects the heart and lungs, and the 
action of these become slower. Consentaneously the mental faculties 
become dulled and inactive from their inhibition. In using hypnotism 
one endeavours by word-painting to figure in the subject's mind an 
image of these natural processes, relying on suggestion being followed 
by realization of the conditions suggested. 

Brown-Sequard quotes the experiments of Fleming and Augustus 
Waller, showing how simultaneous pressure on the cervical sympa- 
thetic, the pneumogastric, and the carotid determines sleep. He 
supposes that these procedures act as peripheral irritations which are 
carried to a certain point — situated probably at the base of the brain 
— and that from this point proceed inhibitory impulses which affect 
the functioning of the different centres {Archives de Physiologie, 
January, 1889). 

f This effect is taken advantage of by some of the Indian tribes. 
If a man is suspected of a crime he is given rice to chew, and told to 
spit it out. The guilty person is so affected by terror that the rice is 
reduced to a fine dry powder, in consequence of the absence of saliva, 
whilst if innocent it is ejected as pulp. But the function of the salivary 
glands can be influenced mechanically, in the same way as that of the 


Tarchanoff gives some interesting examples of inhibitory action, and 
the following are selected from his book : 

If the posterior limbs of a frog be plunged into a weak acid solution, 
the animal will withdraw them at once ; but if at the same time the 
middle region of its brain be stimulated by an electric current or by a 
solution of salt, the movement does not take place, because the reflex 
movements have been inhibited by the action induced in the brain. 

If a section of the upper part of the spinal cord of a frog be removed, 
and the remaining portion be connected with the brain by a circuit in 
which a galvanometer is placed, the needle will be observed to oscillate 
periodically from the passage through the circuit of nerve impulses 
proceeding from the bulbar centres, and this movement will continue 
for some time ; but if a nerve in connection with the cord be irritated, 
it will be found that the needle will become motionless as long as the 
irritation is kept up. We here see that nervous action can be inhibited 
in the brain centres by peripheral stimulation, just as in the previous 
example reflex action was arrested by acting on the cerebral centres. 

Tarchanoff argues that external sensory impressions act as inhibitory 
or moderating influences on the nervous centres of the brain, and that 
in hypnosis, as there is an absence of these impressions, the phenomen 1 
of excitation of the centres are no longer counterpoised, and are. there- 
fore, in the ascendant. To support this view he instances an experi- 
ment he has made on a young dog. He exposed the motor area of the 
cerebrum, and stimulated it to action by applying an electric current. 
This procedure was found to excite localized movement, according to 
the zone experimented on ; but when he held a piece of meat to the 
animal's nose, he found the movements ceased ; i.e., the excitation of 
the centres of smell and sight produced an inhibitory action on the 
motor centres. To enforce the same theory, he quotes an experiment 
performed on dogs by Heidenhain and Boubnoff. They find that 
when dogs are poisoned by morphia, so that ordinary external impres- 
sions cease to act upon the brain, irritation of the motor zones produces 
strong tonic contractions, which continue after the excitation has 
ceased ; but if other parts of the gray matter be gently stimulated, the 
contractions at once cease ; and the same effect is observed if the 
senses of sight, hearing, smell, or touch be peripherally excited. He 
draws an analogy between the morphinized dog and the hypnotized 
subject, and seeks to show how in the latter case hyperexcitability of 
the muscular system and senses exists, in consequence of the absence 
of many-sided impressions from the closure of all the avenues of sense, 
except those specially excited. 

The accompanying diagram shows how inhibitory action 
affects the calibre of an artery, and consequently the 
blood-supply of a part. G is a nerve ganglion connected 

heart. Take the submaxillary gland. It is supplied with vaso-motor 
nerves, which keep its vessels moderately contracted when food is not 
being taken. A branch of the chorda tympani nerve seems to act as 
inhibitory nerve of the vaso-constrictor fibres of the vessels supplying 
the gland, and irritation of it has the effect of causing dilatation of the 
vessels, with consequent increased afflux of blood and increased func- 
tional activity — i.e., increased flow of saliva. 




with the artery A, through a nerve N, and I is a centri- 
fugal nerve derived from an inhibitory 
centre. Under ordinary circumstances G 
is constantly acting on A as a vaso-con- 
strictor, and keeps its walls moderately 
contracted. When, however, an inhibitory 
I impulse arrives at G through I, the action 

of G is arrested and restrained, and the 
vessel A is free to dilate. 

Lauder Brunton thinks inhibition of secretion may re- 
sult either from interference with the supply of blood to 
an organ, with consequent cramp of the arterioles and 
local anaemia, or from direct action of inhibitory nerves 
on motor cells without any changes occurring in the 

Brown-Sequard supposes that where on the one hand 
there is an inhibitory influence at work, there is also 
present on the other hand its antithesis — dynamogenesis. 
Nervous force cannot, any more than other forms of 
energy, be created ; it can only be transformed and made 
to act in altered combinations and different directions. 

Thus Beaunis says that every nervous excitation deter- 
mines in the excited nervous substance two contrary 
modifications, an impulsion towards activity and a ten- 
dency to inhibition. Similarly Lauder Brunton considers 
that inhibition is the opposite phase to stimulation, that 
both depend on excitation, and that the resulting condi- 
tion depends upon the force with which and the direction 
from which their mutual interference acts. 

It has been generally held that inhibition is the property 
of special nerve centres situated in the brain and spinal 
cord, and that from these proceed nervous discharges of 
an inhibitory nature, in the same way as from motor 
centres proceed motor impulses. It is proved that the 
higher centres of the brain exercise an inhibitory action 
on those below them, and that these again control the 
next below them, and so on. Reflex action increases in 
proportion to the removal of the control of the higher 


centres, not only in the brain but also in the cord, for 
when the cord is removed in segments we find the excita- 
bility of the segment below increases with the removal of 
the one above. So the activity of the lower cerebral 
centres will become more apparent in proportion to the 
removal of the control of the higher. 

The heart, again, affords one of the best examples of the 
close association of neuro-regulatory arrangements and 
their action upon each other. If the heart is removed 
from a cold-blooded animal, it will continue to contract 
rhythmically owing to its containing within itself ganglia 
derived from the sympathetic system. But these ganglia 
have not all the same functions. The principal ones, 
three in number, are those of Bidder, Remak, and Lud- 
wig. The two former appear to be excitor centres, while 
the latter is a moderating or inhibitory centre. This is 
well shown by experiment. Let the heart be cut into 
two unequal portions, one consisting of the right ventricle 
(with the ganglion of Remak), and the other of the two 
auricles and the left ventricle (containing Ludwig's and 
Bidder's ganglia), the first portion will continue to beat, 
but the second will remain quiet. Let this second portion 
be again divided, and the auricles (containing in their 
septum Ludwig's ganglion) will be found to remain quiet, 
while the ventricle will recommence beating. Ludwig's 
ganglion has thus proved strong enough to counteract 
one excitor ganglionic centre, but not sufficiently strong 
to control two (Kiiss's ' Lectures on Physiology,' edited 
by Amory, p. 169). 

It is probable, as Brown-Sequard says, that all sensory 
and sensorial nerves are capable of determining inhibition, 
and the study of hypnotism affords a valuable confirmation 
of this theory. The highest centres may be inhibited by 
acting on several sensory areas and tracts, and the position 
of these seems to vary in different individuals. Gentle 
friction, for instance, of the forehead will in many persons 
speedily determine cortical inhibition and hypnosis, and 
some writers have even described inhibitory or hypnogenic 



zones.* The phenomena of zonar epilepsy afford a useful 
analogy here. Slight pressure on the ovaries will in many 
of these cases start an epileptiform fit— i.e., will convey a 
strong inhibitory impulse to the cortex — and the highest 
layer will be inhibited with corresponding overaction from 
dynamogenesis of the lower. Conversely, we find that 
strong pressure over the ovaries will cut short an attack 
which has begun, thus showing the close relationship 
between the neuro-regulatory forces. But though it is 

* Professor Pitres gives an exhaustive account of these zones in his 
latest work. His position and experience demand our acceptance of 
the facts he records, but some of them, e.g., the occurrence of ideogenic 
zones in hysterical subjects, pressure upon which give rise to various 
emotions and sensations according to the area stimulated, make con- 
siderable demands on our imagination. It is a matter for regret that, 
like Charcot, he seems to have confined his researches in hypnotism 
almost entirely to hysterical subjects, as experiments on healthy 
persons give much more satisfactory and trustworthy results. Bern- 
heim denies the occurrence of hypnogenic zones, except as a result of 
conscious or unconscious suggestion on the part of the operator ; but 
Pitres gives evidence that it is impossible to ignore, and it is, I think, 
best to admit that these zones are of spontaneous origin in a few 
exceptional cases, just as Charcot's three stages may sometimes occur 
without suggestion. According to Pitres, the zones must be carefully 
looked for, as they are usually confined to a small area. There may 
be only one discoverable, or the number may mount up to fifteen or 
more. He describes (with diagrams) the case of one hysterical young 
woman having ten hypnogenic zones ; two of these were situated in 
the middle line, one at the root of the nose, and the other on the 
vertex, and eight on the left side, viz., on the malar process, the 
superior body of the clavicle, mammary region, bend of the elbow, 
upper and external part of the thigh, knee, external malleolus, and 
internal malleolus. 

The result of touching any of these zones was that the girl fell at 
once into the lethargic stage of hypnosis (Charcot), and remained in 
it until she awoke spontaneously, or was awakened by touching other 
areas which acted as waking (hypno-phrenetic) zones. The danger 
and inconvenience arising from the existence of these zones, whether 
natural or acquired, is demonstrated by many cases referred to by 
Dr. Pitres, and if they are found to exist, hypnotic suggestion should 
be employed to remove them. A physician has told me that he 
accidentally touched one of Charcot's patients on the elbow, and that 
she at once passed into a state of catalepsy ; and in Luys's clinique I 
have seen patients who are equally subject to being in a moment 
reduced to a state of helplessness, and perhaps unconsciousness. Such 
development of hysterical phenomena, whether practised in the wards 
of a hospital or on a public platform, constitutes in my mind a grave 
abuse of hypnotism. Instead of developing the morbid hypersus- 
ceptibility of hysterical subjects by hypnotic education, it appears to 
me much more commendable to correct and cure it. — ' Hysterie et 
Hypnotisme,' vol. ii., chap. 44. 


certain that hypnogenic zones may sometimes exist spon- 
taneously, we must be careful to avoid confusing them 
with what we may call habit zones. Nerve habits are 
readily set up, especially in hysterical subjects, and an 
artificial hypnogenic zone is easily called into being by 
suggestion. One would only have to tell a sensitive 
person that pressure on his right temple would determine 
the hypnotic state, and we should either at once, or in a 
short time, find that this action would become a hypno- 
genic agent. 

At Amsterdam, Drs. Van Renterghem and Van Eeden 
sometimes awaken their patients by touching the tips of 
their noses, and this contact is at once sufficient to end 
the sleep, no matter how deep it may be. An artificial 
dynamogenic zone has been created. The effects of nerve 
habit are, of course, visible all around us. The pater- 
familias who has only to take up the paper after dinner 
and sit in his accustomed chair by the fire, in order to 
almost immediately fall into a doze, is a familiar example 
of this condition, only a little less marked than that which 
we sometimes set up by hypnotism, when we give the 
patient a piece of paper and tell him that on looking at 
it he will at once feel sleepy and fall into a sound sleep. 
The sleep of the business man over his accustomed paper 
is, I believe, frequently of the hypnotic type. Though it 
commonly lasts only a few minutes, such sleepers have 
frequently told me that it refreshes them more than their 
night's rest ; it is the rest of simple inhibition. Brown- 
Sequard points out that anaemia is a predisposing cause of 
inhibition, and it has been the experience of all observers 
in regard to hypnotism, that anaemic persons are often the 
best subjects. 

The tendency of nerve habits to be formed more readily 
in the hypnotic than in the waking condition is shown by 
the fact that the subject is extremely apt to assume spon- 
taneously, on subsequent occasions, the attitude he was 
made to adopt when first hypnotized. Thus, if the arm 
was raised at right angles to the body at the moment 


hypnosis was complete, it is very probable that this action 
becomes in the mind an essential part of the procedure, 
and will be repeated on every subsequent occasion unless 
checked by suggestion. 

The subject of inhibition has been closely studied by 
Sir T. Lauder Brunton, and his researches enable us to 
get a little nearer the comprehension of some hypnotic 
phenomena. He founds his theory on the analogy 
afforded in physics by the interference of rays of light 
and sound with one another when they meet in certain 
relationship.* When two rays of light are combined so 
that the crests of the waves of which they consist 
coincide, the light becomes brighter ; but if they are 
thrown together so that the crests of the waves in the 
first ray correspond with the hollows of those in the 
second, mutual interference is the result, and they so 
neutralize one another that darkness is then produced. 
Applied to the nervous system, the hypothesis implies 
that nervous impulses travel like waves along the nerve 
tracts, and as long as they coincide — apex to apex, and 
hollow to hollow — sensation or movement is the result of 
the impulse ; but if the coincidence be interfered with, we 
get more or less complete neutralization of the impulse 
and inhibition. The way in which waves of light may be 
made to mutually interfere is by causing them to pass 
through channels of different lengths, so that when they 
meet, one may be half a length behind the other, the 
crest of the first corresponding with the fundus of the 
second. In the nervous system it is a matter of constant 
occurrence that the impulse waves of nerve energy are 
travelling towards the centres through channels of dif- 
ferent lengths, and it follows, ex hypothcsi, that they are 
interfering with each other in different degrees. The 
whole nervous mechanism is subjected in its normal state 
to a mutual check system, so that a balance is automatic- 
ally maintained between sensory and motor nerves, and 
they are influenced to a greater or less degree by impulses 

* Loc. cit. 


arriving from the higher centres — i.e., those concerned in 
volition, etc. 

Lauder Brunton illustrates this point by taking the 
case of tickling. Here convulsive muscular movements 
are set up by gentle continuous irritation over a sensory 
surface. An impulse made up of waves is promulgated 
to the sensory centres, and reflected from them down the 
motor tracts. The stimulation being monotonous, con- 
tinuous, and consisting of currents of the same intensity, 
there is no wave interference, and the motor movements 
resultant are reflex. But let the pressure be increased so 
that instead of tickling pain is produced: then, in place of 
a weak current travelling up one nervous channel, we 
have a strong irregular impulse disseminated into channels 
of different lengths ; when it arrives at the centres which 
have been subjected to interference, a different condition 
will result, and the reaction will cease to be merely 

Up to a certain point the action of the will may be 
called forth to check the convulsive movements, and this 
will operate by interference ; the waves constituting the 
impulse from the highest centres so impinging upon the 
excito-motor waves as to cause interference and inhibi- 

Inhibition, therefore, according to Lauder Brunton, is 
not a special function of certain cells and nerve fibres, 
but may be produced through any sensory or motor cell, 
and depends not on the properties of the cell, but on its 
relationship to other cells or fibres. ' Motion, sensation, 
inhibition, or stimulation, are not positive, but simply 
relative terms, and stimulating or inhibitory functions 
may be exercised by the same cell, according to the 
relation which subsists between the wave-lengths of the 
impulses travelling to or from it, the distance over which 
they travel, and the rapidity with which they are pro- 

* Lauder Brunton, discussing the action of atropia on frogs, shows 
how the animal gradually loses, first, the power of voluntary motion, 


Applying the theory of interference to the induction 
of hypnosis, we find that it serves to explain several 
points. Take hypnotization by the method of fixation, 
for example. An intense and unusual stimulus is applied 
to the optic nerve, and by it carried to the optic centres, 
in the form of an afferent current of abnormal form and 
intensity. The effect of such strong stimulation is not 
confined to the receiving centre, but overflows it and acts 
upon neighbouring and associated ones. The nerve im- 
pulse thus sent through the communicating nerve fibres 
is composed of waves which meet the normal currents 
traversing these channels in such a way as to interfere 
with and neutralize them, and hence we arrive at inhibi- 
tion, either complete or in part, of the functions of many 
or a few of the cortical centres. The condition once 
induced, its reproduction is rendered easy by the setting 
up of a nerve habit. Psychical processes, such as auto 
or verbal suggestion, may be supposed to cause hypnosis 
by originating a nerve impulse, starting from the idea- 
tional centres ; but as to the nature of that nerve impulse 
it is impossible to dogmatize. Myers says that psychical 
processes can never be explained by physiological theories, 
but the physiologist will not readily admit that proposi- 
tion. Inhibition, therefore, is interference, not abolition of 
function, and its distinguishing characteristic is its imme- 

next the power of directing its movements, then the power of spring- 
ing at all, and finally reflex action, and argues that the drug lessens 
the functional activity of nerve cells and fibres. The impulses are 
retarded, and thus the length of nervous connection between the cells 
of the spinal cord which is calculated to keep them in proper relation 
in the normal animal, just suffices at a certain stage to throw the 
impulses half a wave's length behind the other, and thus to cause 
complete inhibition and apparent paralysis. The paralysis is only 
apparent, for after a time the animal will be found to respond to 
slight stimulation in the same manner as if it had been poisoned with 
strychnia, i.e., in an exaggerated degree. He explains this by assum- 
ing that the retardation of the impulses proceeds as the poison con- 
tinues to act, so that the waves after a time interfere less and less with 
one another, and finally again coincide. The effect of the coincidence 
is increased excitability on stimulation. This is on the theory that 
impulses reach the centres by different routes of varying length, so 
contrived that in normal life a constant relationship is maintained 
between the position of waves, and a healthy balance is maintained. 


diate production and removability. By suggestion we 
may be supposed to start an impulse from the higher 
centres, the waves of which are propagated to the centres 
it is sought to influence, and which either coincide with 
and strengthen the efferent waves proceeding from these 
(dynamogenesis), or by interfering with them cause in- 


Natural Analogies of Hypnosis. — Relation of Hypnosis to Sleep 
and other Conditions. — Theory of Hypnosis. — Leucomaines and 
Animal Alkaloids. 

In the foregoing pages I have endeavoured to show that 
the hypnotic state has many analogies in ordinary life, 
and that it is not so much the creation of a new con- 
dition as the exaggeration of normal or partially normal 
ones. It is the intentional production of a psychical 
state, similar to many which occur spontaneously in all 
persons under certain circumstances. 

The phenomena of hypnotism have points in common 
with those of natural sleep, reverie, mental concentration, 
intense nervous excitement, religious ecstasy, post-epileptic 
states, as well as with the effects produced by alcohol and 
various drugs. There is also a close resemblance between 
some forms of hypnosis and hysteria, and the affinity 
between spontaneous and induced catalepsy and somnam- 
bulism is obvious. The distinguishing and characteristic 
feature of the hypnotic state is increase in the ideo-motor, 
ideo-sensory and reflex excitability of the brain, shown by 
increased readiness to receive, and increased ability to act 
upon suggestion. 

To elucidate more clearly the rationale of hypnotism, 
I propose in the following pages to consider briefly the 
physiology of conditions resembling it, and the main points 
of difference between them. 

I cannot but think that Bernheim has somewhat 
exaggerated the closeness of the analogy between hypnotic 
and natural sleep. To outward appearances the resem- 


blance is certainly complete : hypnosis may pass into 
natural sleep ; and sleep may partake of the characteristics 
of hypnosis in the same way that sleep may merge into 
coma, or may pass into an epileptic condition ; but there 
are clear lines of demarcation between all these states, 
and the sleep of everyday life is distinct from its hypnotic 

A short review of the etiology of natural sleep will 
render it more easy to understand the physiology of 
hypnotism. Sleep seems to depend upon several causes, 
and to be the resultant of their joint action. Some of 
these are of external and others of internal origin. First, 
there is exhaustion of potential energy in the brain cells, 
resulting from their functional activity ; secondly, there is 
a condition of cerebral anaemia ; and, thirdly, there is an 
accumulation in the tissues, and especially in the brain 
centres, of waste products. To these we must add the 
factor of periodicity — that ebb and flow of organic life 
which has so potent an influence in all vital phenomena. 
To insure sleep it is necessary that these agencies should 
be assisted by other conditions, and the most important 
of these are, the absence of exciting sensory stimuli, a 
comfortable posture, and a state of mental tranquillity 
and repose. Sleep is banished if there is cerebral con- 
gestion, if the mind is in a state of turmoil or excitement, 
or if stimulating and vivid sensory impressions are con- 
stantly arriving at the highest centres. Muscular repose 
is also, as a rule, a necessary preliminary to sleep, though 
there are many instances in which soldiers and others 
under circumstances of exceptional fatigue have not been 
prevented from sleeping in the most strained and uncom- 
fortable positions, any more than they have been kept 
awake by the continuous roar of battle or the blustering of 
the gale. 

The chemical theory that sleep results from the accu- 
mulation of waste products (leucomaines) in the organs is 
now very generally held. Preyer supposes that kreatine 
and lactic acid are formed during the periods of mental 


activity, that they accumulate in the brain centres, and 
from their affinity for oxygen rob the cells of this element, 
upon an abundant supply of which their molecular activity 
depends. A sleeper from this point of view may there- 
fore be considered as narcotized by the waste products of 
his own tissues. This theory also explains the periodicity 
of sleep, for these products are being constantly formed 
from tissue change during wakefulness, and as their 
quantity increases, they cause proportionate and progres- 
sive drowsiness, and finally sleep. During sleep or 
inactivity of the cerebral centres no formation of these 
products takes place, and the accumulation is gradually 
worked off and eliminated ; a supply of oxygen again 
becomes available, and molecular energy is restored. 
When recuperation is complete waking ensues, and the 
same process is again repeated. It has, moreover, been 
found that the vital alkaloids formed during sleep have a 
convulsive and stimulating action on the nerve-centres, 
whereas those which are formed during the day have a 
sedative and narcotic effect. The oxygen, which is so 
essential to the functioning of the highest centres, is partly 
derived from the blood, so that the cerebral respiration is 
a term in use, and is partly contained in a loosely-com- 
bined state in the nervous tissue, in the same way as the 
oxygen required for the explosion of gunpowder is con- 
tained in the nitre of its composition (Lauder Brunton). 
The amount of oxygen, therefore, contained in the nerve 
tissue regulates the activity of the nerve cells, and when 
the German physiologist said that there was no thought 
without phosphorus, he might have added, nor without 
oxygen. Nerve energy is liberated by the explosive com- 
bination of the carbonaceous elements in the nerve tissue 
with oxygen, and if the supply of oxygen is adequate the 
explosive movements which initiate nervous impulses are 
vigorous and their psychical concomitants are correspond- 
ingly vivid. The necessity there is for oxygen for brain 
processes is shown by the benumbing and soporific effect 
of working in a crowded, ill-ventilated room. The 


cerebral respiration is affected long before that through 
the lungs. 

Brown-Sequard* thinks that sleep results from inhibi- 
tion, pure and simple, and supposes that the inhibitory 
impulses proceed from the neighbourhood of the medulla. 
He contends that the drowsiness of indigestion is not 
produced by the formation and accumulation of leuco- 
maines of abnormal quality, but arises from impulses of 
gastric origin, affecting the inhibitory centres through the 

There is almost as great a difference between the pro- 
found, dreamless, and physiologically perfect sleep of the 
healthy labouring man who earns his bread by the sweat 
of his brow and is untroubled by nerves, and thestuperose 
condition of the overfed and under-exercised dyspeptic, 
as there is between natural sleep and hypnosis. The 
reason of this appears to be that healthy physiological 
sleep is the outcome of all the causes I have enumerated, 
acting in their proper and just relationship and propor- 
tion, whereas in the sleep of indigestion we have one 
cause acting in excess — the accumulation of waste 
products and alkaloids in the tissues, as a result of imper- 
fect assimilation and metabolism. The sleep is incomplete 
and one-sided here just as it is in hypnotism, and in both 
cases some of the elements of natural sleep are wanting. 
As in cases of indigestion, with somnolence and disturbed 
sleep, there are degrees of disturbance, varying from slight 
abnormality to complete change of type, so in hypnotism 
we see all degrees of hypnosis, from the condition, such as 

* 'Archives de Physiologie Normale et Pathologique,' January, 1889. 
He has demonstrated the fact that pigeons continue to sleep at regular 
intervals after the sympathetic nerves in the neck have been divided, 
and that dogs and cats sleep after removal of the superior cervical 
ganglion of one side, and division of the vago-sympathetic in the 
other — procedures leading to continued dilatation of the cerebral 
vessels, and thus proving that sleep does not depend so much on con- 
traction of the vessels with consequent cerebral anaemia as has been 
supposed. Moreover, he finds that pigeons continue to sleep after the 
removal of the lobes of the brain, from which he concludes that sleep 
does not result from influences of medullar origin, and is not dependent 
on the state of the cerebral lobes. 


is seen in Charcot's cases, which has only a distant re- 
semblance to normal sleep, to a state indistinguishable 
from and passing into it. The difference in type appears to 
depend upon the extent to which one factor is producing 
the condition to the exclusion of the others — whether 
the state is an auto-narcosis from the accumulation of 
alkaloids, is the result of inhibition alone, or is a combina- 
tion of all the causes which go to make up normal sleep. 

There is ground for believing that natural sleep assumes 
the hypnotic type much more frequently than is commonly 
supposed ; i.e., the sleeper is susceptible to suggestion from 
without. It is certain that many persons who are 
hypnotized for the first time, and the majority of those 
who by frequent repetition of the process have become 
good subjects, do not require any special stimulation of 
one sense for the production of hypnosis ; expectant 
attention and verbal suggestion being sufficient to deter- 
mine the condition. Those facts are calculated to upset 
many of the theories of the causation of hypnosis, and to 
confirm the dictum of Brown-Sequard that hypnosis does 
not depend upon exhaustion, but is a result of dynamic 
inhibition of the highest centres. 

When Braid's method is employed, an intense strain is 
put upon the visual apparatus, and an excessive discharge 
from the cells of the visual centre is followed by its ex- 
haustion and subsequent cessation of its functional 
activity. But in Bernheim's method there is no such 
localized stimulation and nervous exhaustion, and the 
condition induced would be indistinguishable from or- 
dinary drowsiness or sleep, were it not that the subject is 
receptive of suggestion. The chemical theory would also 
be explanatory of the phenomena of Braidism, but it 
quite breaks down when the suggestive method of induc- 
ing hypnosis is in question. The increased functional 
activity of a centre must lead to the increased oxidation 
of its elements, with increased formation of the products 
of molecular disintegration (vital alkaloids) ; and we know 
that the accumulation of these in the system is a cause of 


drowsiness and sleep. It is possible that their accumula- 
tion in one part of the brain may induce partial or complete 
inhibition of certain centres, with consequent interference 
with or abolition of their functions (Tarchanoff). 

Healthy, dreamless sleep depends upon temporary aboli- 
tion of the functions of the highest centres, together with 
a partial inhibition of those below — the middle and lower 
levels. In dreamful and disturbed sleep inhibition is less 
complete, and certain areas continue to discharge nervous 
energy and so produce dreams. The more intense the 
discharge, the more vivid the dream ; and if the discharge 
be very intense, the attending process may overstep the 
limit of mere ideation and take the form of action : there 
will be movement or sleep-walking from stimulation and 
discharge of the motor areas. The actions will be unac- 
companied by consciousness : for consciousness depends 
upon the functioning of all the higher centres in orderly 
relation, and in somnambulism this order is disarranged or 
destroyed. The actions, being unconscious, are automatic, 
and tend to partake of the nature of those usually or 
habitually performed : will be in keeping with the char- 
acter and temperament of the sleeper; for the nervous 
discharges will travel through well-worn and accustomed 
channels, and will hardly effect new combinations or 

The post-epileptic state shows some very important 
resemblances to hypnotic somnambulism ; the researches 
of Dr. Hughlings Jackson and other observers enable us 
to understand its phenomena. 

The central nervous system may be considered as com- 
posed of three divisions or layers : first, the medulla, pons, 
and basal ganglia, which function the most organized 
processes of the animal economy, i.e., nutrition, secretion, 
respiration, circulation ; secondly, the motor areas of the 
cortex, which function muscular movements ; and thirdly, 
the highest and last evolved cortical centres, which 
control and regulate the actions of those below them, 
and which produce new associated movements. Further- 


more, we must suppose that these highest centres are 
assigned different grades in the hierarchy of the nervous 
system : it is the function of the highest of all, which are 
those last evolved, to control those immediately below 
them, and through them to exercise a governing influence 
over the entire nervous mechanism. It is only the 
functioning of these highest of all centres which is 
accompanied by psychical processes and is attended 
with full consciousness. 

If the functioning of all three divisions is suspended, 
death ensues, and if the two higher divisions are entirely 
placed out of action, and the lowest only functions, with 
enfeebled force we get a state of coma, in which the 
patient lies absolutely motionless and unconscious, and out 
of which he cannot be roused. In this state, the functions 
of organic life alone continue, and they only with greatly 
diminished activity. Such are the coma of apoplectic 
states, alcoholic poisoning, etc. In these cases the con- 
dition depends upon destruction of the properties of the 
highest nervous arrangements, either from gross lesion 
or from chemical changes. One sees a somewhat similar 
condition produced by exhaustion of nervous elements 
in post-epileptic coma. 

In natural, sound, dreamless sleep, we also get the 
action of the two highest divisions of the nervous system 
completely suspended, but the sleeper can be easily 
aroused, because the suspension depends to a great 
extent on cortical inhibition. In sleep accompanied 
by dreams there is incomplete suspension, and certain 
areas of the highest division continue to function apart 
from their usual combinations, and therefore more or 
less unintelligently.* If the action of the discharging 

* An experiment referred to by Heidenhain and also by Gerald Yeo 
serves to show how completely the higher cerebral faculties are in 
abeyance in the profounder states of hypnotism. Both these authors 
refer to the production of the 'echo voice.' This is produced by 
stroking the back of the subject's neck with the hand, when he will at 
once repeat any words said to him. The effect produced is curiously 
like that experienced in listening to a phonograph. The subject may 
be perfectly uneducated, and yet he will repeat accurately after the 


centres is energetic, it will, as we have seen, be accom- 
panied by movements, and somnambulism may result. 
In hypnosis brought about by suggestion, cessation of 
function does not depend upon exhaustion, but is the 
result of inhibition, and is not therefore followed by exhaus- 
tion ; on the contrary, it refreshes the system in the same 
way as, and in a marked degree more than, natural sleep. 
The awakening is immediate, and depends upon the 
removal of the inhibitory influence. If the phenomenon 
depended upon exhaustion of the nervous elements, time 
and rest would be required for recuperation, and this we 
know is not the case. 

Hypnotism cannot, I believe, produce epilepsy de novo, 
even though it be employed ignorantly and recklessly ; 
but under such circumstances it may determine a latent 
tendency. In hypnotizing epileptics, it is by no means 
uncommon to see a slight fit produced by the process. 
The same applies to the administration of chloroform and 
the ingestion of an excessive quantity of alcohol, and tends 
to show that in each case the agent acts on the cells of the 
same cortical area. The view put forth by Dr. Hughlings 
Jackson, in discussing epileptic convulsions, that the 

reciter an ode of Horace or the chorus from a Greek play (compare 
case on p. 75). An analogous experiment on a frog, deprived of its 
brain, illustrates how completely the profoundly hypnotized subject 
may be said to be ' robbed of his cerebral hemispheres.' If the frog's 
flanks be gently stroked, it will croak, not continuously, but each 
stroke will be followed by a croak, so that Yeo supposes there is an 
unknown relation between certain sensory surfaces and the speech 
centres (op. a't., p. 13). 

Another experiment is that of making a person speak by placing the 
hand over the left temple, the idea being, of course, to stimulate 
Broca's speech centre underneath. The subject will at once answer 
if spoken to ; but if the same place be again touched he will as 
suddenly become silent, though he may be in the middle of a word 
or sentence. I have seen several such experiments, but have hitherto 
been unable to repeat them on unprepared subjects. Heidenhain and 
the other writers of more than a few years ago were not so fully alive 
to the extraordinary readiness of the subject to act upon suggestion, 
and to take advantage of the smallest hint as we are now. The 
subject's mind is like an extra sensitive plate. As the faintest light 
will affect the one, so will the slightest hint influence the other. With- 
out denying that somatic reactions may occur in the hypnotic state, I 
think we should be very cautious in accepting them. 



highest level of the cortex not only subserves the psychical 
processes which constitute the physical substrata of con- 
sciousness — volition, thought, emotion, judgment, etc. — 
but also represents, though very indirectly, muscular 
movements and organic functions, throws an important 
light on the action of hypnotic suggestion on vital pro- 

The action of hypnotism is probably exerted entirely 
on the highest centres, and if these represented only 
mental processes, it would be difficult to understand how 
by affecting them we could produce the changes in nutri- 
tion and function which undoubtedly result from hypnotic 
suggestion. But if it be correct to suppose that we can 
influence the functions of the lower centres by acting 
directly on the highest, that by influencing the hierarchy 
we can modify the behaviour of the subordinate func- 
tionaries of the body, we hold a key to the solution of 
the problem. According to Liebeault, we attack disease 
and affect function in gross by acting upon the starting- 
point and centre of vital processes (the cerebrum) instead 
of addressing ourselves to the treatment of their peripheral 
manifestations, and attacking these in detail by drugs. 

I believe all physiologists are now agreed as to the effect 
the higher centres of the cerebral cortex are able to exert 
over the lower nervous arrangements. Professor Morselli 
of Genoa writes : ' Every mental state and every act of 
the intelligence has its centrifugal equivalent.'* ' The 
mental functions act as supreme and constant regulators 
of all the nervous processes, even of those which are 
purely automatic and are not attended with conscious- 
ness. Though they are withdrawn from the direct influence 
of the psychic activity, they are nevertheless dependent 
on it.'f 

Bernheim contends that ' the brain controls all the 
organs and every function, and that each part of the 
organism has its ultimate representation in a brain cell, 

* ' Fisiopsicologia dell' ipnotismo,' p. 14. 
+ Ibid., p. 24. 


which is its primunt movens.* Each movement is realized 
by a cortical motor centre, and each tactile, visceral, and 
muscular sensation by a cortical sensory cell.' 

He considers that all the organs and functions are 
subordinate to psychic states, and that by determining 
these states we can influence function. t In the earlier 
part of this work I have quoted numerous instances show- 
ing the connection between psychical states and organic 
functions, but in these the psychic influence has for the 
most part been accidental and undirected, and the result- 
ing reaction has not infrequently been more harmful than 
beneficial. Hypnotism enables us in many cases to 
control this influence and direct it into proper channels. 
I would compare the effect of emotional states to the 
conduct of the master of a large establishment. As long 
as everything goes on well his interference with minutiae 
is not required, and would probably be harmful. Every 
foreman and servant knows his place, and the work is 
regulated as it were by clockwork. But let some grave 
source of danger or difficulty arise, and we shall find that 
the master's hand is needed to control his subordinates 
and to prevent confusion and damage arising. Suppose 
that, instead of orderly and necessary interference, his 
conduct is guided by passion or dictated by panic, and 
what do we find ? Instead of his action being beneficial, 
it is injurious, and even disastrous. Action of the incom- 
petent or panic-stricken master is comparable to the mis- 
directed and haphazard influence of the higher centres 
on the general health and functions in emotional states : 
while the beneficial influence exerted by a cool-headed 
and capable one is paralleled by the influence the higher 
centres can be made to exercise over the lower by means 
of hypnotism. 

Sir T. Lauder Brunton quotes a case which he considers 
strongly corroborative of his view that the highest layer 
of the cortical cells controls the functioning of the lower 

* ' Hypnotisme, Suggestion, Psycho-Therapie,' p. 449. 
t Ibid., p 46. 

l6 2 


centres, and that it has an influence even over reflex 
actions. A patient under the care of Sir J. (then Mr.) 
Crichton Brown was attacked with facial erysipelas, 
which spread by metastasis to the brain. The man 
showed symptoms of cortical irritation, and examination 
showed that the reflexes were abolished. The disease 
progressed, and he became unconscious, and it was then 
found that the reflexes had returned. The patient died, 
and the autopsy revealed degenerative changes in the 

Dr. Lauder Brunton, therefore, supposes that nerve 
currents set in motion by irritation of the brain, or some 
of its convolutions transmitted down the cord, may inhibit 
reflex action.* Dr. Mercierf and other writers on insanity 
point out how disease of the highest centres is nearly 
always accompanied by disorder of nutrition. This is 
especially seen in the alteration which takes place in 
the nails and hair, the former becoming brittle and ill - 
shapen, and the latter coarse and refractory. Dr. Van 
Eeden once showed me a little girl under treatment by 
suggestion for infantile paralysis. The little patient was 
gradually regaining the use of her legs, and a great 
improvement in general nutrition was apparent. In no 
direction was this more marked than in the toenails. 
For three years there had been no growth in these, and 
they had never required cutting ; but a month after the 
treatment was commenced they had grown so long as to 
necessitate the use of the scissors, and from that time 
they required trimming every four or five weeks. 

A few words on the foundations of consciousness will 
enable us to comprehend better its impairment or abro- 
gation in the advanced stages of hypnosis. Its physical 
basis depends, first, on the connection of the highest 
layers of the cortex with the other parts of the nervous 
system ; and, secondly, on the connection of the highest 
centres with each other. So that, as Professor Sir Michael 

* 'On Inhibition,' West Riding Reports, 1874. 
+ ' Sanity and Insanity,' p. 135. 


Foster says,""- consciousness, volition, and other psychical 
processes are not the functions of the cortex, but functions 
of its connection with other parts of the nervous system. 
He asks what would happen if, while the cortex remained 
healthy, afferent impulses were no longer conveyed to 
it, and he answers that lethargy with suspension of all 
psychical processes would be the result. He supports 
this theory by citing a remarkable case, that of a man 
who, being deaf, and blind of one eye, became in addition 
affected with complete tactile and general anaesthesia, and 
anosmia. His only connection with ' the life of relation ' 
was through the one sense which remained in functional 
activity, and when the eye was kept closed he soon passed 
into a condition of lethargy. Dr. Macfarlane in his recent 
work, ' Insomnia and its Therapeutics,' quotes a somewhat 
similar case : that of a girl, aged sixteen, whose skin and 
mucous membrane became completely anaesthetic, so that 
she failed to perceive the application of violent stimuli to 
them. At the same time she lost the muscular sense and 
became entirely dependent on her sight and hearing for her 
relationship with the outer world. Here again it happened 
that closing these two avenues of sense resulted in the 
rapid production of sleep. She could be aroused from 
this by stimuli acting on these senses, and she also used 
to awake spontaneously after a time if left to herself. 
These cases form an interesting antithesis to that of 
Laura Bridgman, who not only possessed one sense (that 
of touch) very abnormally developed, but also enjoyed an 
unimpaired coenthesis, so that the cortex of her brain 
was being constantly acted upon by healthy impulses. 
She did not therefore fall into lethargy when the tactile 
sense was not in use, but slept in the same way as 
ordinary persons. 

The condition of lethargy into which Sir M. Foster's 
patient fell is closely imitated by the completely inert 
state assumed by certain hypnotized persons, especially 
chronic epileptics. They become perfectly lethargic, 

* ' Physiology,' vol. iii., p. 117. 


insensible to pain, and deaf to the loudest noises. They 
are not susceptible to suggestion, and can be aroused 
from a state resembling coma only with considerable 
difficulty. Dr. Habgood showed me several such cases at 
Banstead Asylum, and I have seen the condition induced 
in one of my private patients, a confirmed epileptic. In 
consequence of the impossibility of establishing rapport 
with these patients, I imagine that hypnotism would fail 
to benefit them. 

Consciousness depends, then, on the activity of the 
senses, the conveyance of their impressions to the highest 
centres, and the association of these highest centres with 
each other. Anything which interferes with one or other 
of these conditions will weaken or destroy it in proportion 
to the amount of interference. In ordinary hypnosis we 
find the facts exactly bear out this theory for sensory 
anaesthesia ; deadening of the senses, benumbing of the 
faculties, and impairment of consciousness proceed pari 
passu, and maintain a relative connection. But the 
coenthesis or subjective consciousness, on which to a 
large extent depends the ego or personality, is the last part 
of the organization to be affected.* 

There is another factor in vivid consciousness. Not 
only must the afferent impulses from the senses and the 
internal organs be received by the highest centres, but the 
efferent impulses in response to them must be vigorous and 
of high tension. Vivid consciousness only exists when 
nervous impulses are sent through new or little-used 
channels, and automatism prevails when the passage of 
nerve energy is only through thoroughly organized tracts. 

* Individuality depends upon continuous memory. Several cases 
have been reported in the newspapers lately of men and women who 
have been found by the police wandering about aimlessly and unable 
to give an account of themselves. There has been a complete lapse 
of memory, and consequent loss of individuality. In some cases the 
'stream of consciousness' has resumed its equable flow, and the 
patient has recovered his identity. In other cases there is a complete 
hiatus, the past continues blotted out, and he has to literally begin life 
again. Most of these cases are allied to epilepsy. Hypnotism would 
probably restore the memory of the past, as it did in the cases of 
double personality referred to on p. 96 et seq. 


In ordinary hypnosis it is the well-worn channels which 
are traversed, and therefore the actions performed during 
this state will tend to be those habitual with the subject, 
or at least in keeping with his character and temperament. 

This point has an important bearing on the question of 
the employment of hypnotic suggestion for criminal 
purposes, and also on the possibility of using it in the 
reformation of bad characters. I think we may infer that 
hypnotism will rarely enable us to convert the hopelessly 
bad, but that it may be used to influence character by 
developing latent good and suppressing evil tendencies. 
It is possible, however, that by continued suggestion new 
channels may be formed, new tastes established, and old 
tracts inhibited, and eventually closed and abolished. 

It is a natural corollary that when consciousness is 
weakened or abolished memory will be correspondingly 
vague and uncertain, or altogether wanting, for memory 
depends upon the vividness of impressions, and their 
arrangement and association. 

Some opponents of hypnotism have nicknamed it ' tee- 
total intoxication ' ; but the analogy between it and the 
effects of alcohol is not very apparent. The drunken man 
is to a certain extent receptive of suggestion, and it is 
easy to foist delusions upon him, which would be rejected 
were he sober. The effects of alcohol show themselves in 
a somewhat different order to those of hypnotism. In 
the former we have the nervous system involved in the 
inverse order of its evolution, and the first part to suffer 
is that concerned in the highest psychical processes — 
memory, will, judgment, etc. In the lighter grades of 
hypnotism we do not find the psychical functions so much 
affected as those of motion and sensation, and it is 
common to meet with a patient who is quite unable to 
open his eyes, or put down his arm, if told he cannot, in 
perfect enjoyment of all the highest mental faculties. 
I have frequently tried to hypnotize intoxicated persons, 
but have never succeeded unless the patient has been 
previously hypnotized. On the other hand, chronic 


indulgence in alcohol seems to somewhat favour the 
hypnotic process. 

Sir W. Gowers* has examined the subject of hypnotic 
catalepsy, and has published his views concerning it. He 
supposes that hypnotism induces such a change in the 
functional state of the brain that the lower cortical 
mechanism is cut off from the influence of the higher 
centres which subserve mental processes as well as 
exercise control over those below them. The inhibition 
of the highest implies, as has been shown, the uncon- 
trolled and exaggerated action of the lower or motor 
areas, for muscular relaxation or balance depend upon 
the equal functioning of the inhibitory or higher centres 
and the excitor or lower ones, in the same way as regular 
action of the heart depends upon the inhibition of the 
vagus balancing the excitation of the cardiac ganglia. 
The inhibition of the highest centres in hypnosis explains 
why the muscular movements and reflexes are exaggerated 
and at the same time unattended by consciousness. In 
the same way, the movements of a paralyzed limb, though 
they may be excessive, are not accompanied by psychical 

In the lighter grades of hypnotism there are psychical 
accompaniments, and the patient knows the limb is being 
moved, but is unable to prevent it, or can only do so by 
making great efforts. In the more advanced stages he 
loses all, or nearly all, sensation in the limb when it is 
moved by the operator, so that he often says that it 'seems 
to no longer belong to him.' 

The analgesia of profound hypnosis is easily explained. 
It is sometimes more apparent than real, and then 
resembles that of incomplete narcosis. The subject 
suffers at the time, but on awaking has forgotten the 
circumstance. If hypnotized again and questioned, he 
will say that he felt the pain, but not sufficiently to cause 
him to shake off the lethargy which oppressed him. But 
in many cases there is absolute anaesthesia, and the 

* Lancet, May 31, 1890. 


patient is completely ignorant of what is being done to 
him. We know that anaesthesia may be produced in three 
ways — by acting on the arrangements of the highest 
centres, so as to cause cessation of their functions ; by 
acting on the peripheral endings of nerves, and destroying 
their irritability ; and by destruction or inhibition of the 
tract conveying sensation from the periphery to the 
brain. Chloroform acts in the first manner by setting 
up chemical changes in the brain cells, and hypnotism 
influences the same nervous arrangements by dynamic 
inhibition of the molecular activity of the cells. Cocain 
is an anaesthetic of the second class ; and in poisoning by 
curara, and in the cutaneous anaesthesia of locomotor ataxy, 
we see the third cause at work. The anaesthesia produced 
by suggestion alone, as in the cases referred to on pp. 74, 
75, can be explained by supposing that the centres of tactile 
sensation, which Ferrier localizes in the hippocampal 
region and the neighbouring temporo-sphenoidal convolu- 
tions, where also probably painful sensations are received 
(Lauder Brunton), are put out of action by some inhibitory 
action akin to that which obtains in the local anaesthesia 
so common in hysteria ; and which probably proceeds 
from some irritation of distal origin, acting as an inhibitory 
influence. The sensation of pain is due to some con- 
dition of the cerebrum itself, and is caused by the arrival 
at the highest centres of intense afferent currents from the 
seat of injury. Liebeault supposes that in perfect health 
there is an equilibrium in the distribution of nervous force, 
which is upset in disease. Disease is accompanied by 
either excess or deficiency of nerve energy in the centres 
enervating the affected organs, and hypnotism enables us 
to check and correct this disarrangement. This theory is 
not without support, for we frequently see excessive and 
irregular action in one organ, associated with deficient 
action in others in the same subject. Centres are con- 
stantly discharging their energy through the most 
traversed channels, and nerve energy is being sent to the 
organs which have already absorbed most of it ; e.g., an 


uncontrolled and excessive nerve influence is constantly 
being sent along the nerve tract concerned with the 
movement of a limb in hysterical contraction. Hypnotism 
may be supposed to act in such a case by enabling us, 
through suggestion, to divert or transform the nerve 
energy which is thus being misdirected. Whatever 
theory we may adopt as to the ultimate causation of the 
hypnotic state — and theories are almost as numerous as 
writers on the subject — we at least know that its 
phenomena are of subjective origin, and that they depend 
upon the inhibition and dynamogenesis of some centres, 
and the disconnection of others which ordinarily act in 

How this disassociation is effected is of course a point 
of immense interest, and is in fact the crux of the whole 
matter. Its rationale must remain a matter of theory, as 
it depends on changes of the most subtle nature. But 
we know at least as much about the action of hypnotism 
as we do about that of many drugs which we use every day. 
It probably depends upon intracellular changes in the 
arrangement of molecules, whereby the discharge of nerve 
energy is prevented. The clogging of these molecules, and 
their consequent failure to respond to stimuli, through the 
ingestion of chloroform and other drugs, their excessive 
stimulation by coffee or small quantities of alcohol or 
opium, and their abnormal stimulation by belladonna 
or Indian hemp, belong to a different order of events. 
Natural sleep remains the closest analogue to hypnosis; 
but in sleep the inhibition extends to all the centres and 
their functions, and cannot be in part overcome by verbal 
suggestion ; this is the important point of difference 
between the two states. Moreover, as we have seen, 
not only can the inhibitory influence be exerted in any 
direction we wish by verbal suggestion, but its correlative 
condition, dynamogenesis, can be treated in the same 
way. The rapid and even instantaneous induction of 
hypnosis in ' good subjects ' can be explained by the 
setting up of a nerve habit, so that on the exhibition of 


the accustomed stimulus the molecules fall at once into 
their former combinations. I have already said that for 
this reason we should be careful to make the exciting 
cause a combination of circumstances which would not 
be likely to occur spontaneously. The tendency of the 
sequence of events to repeat themselves on the appli- 
cation of the accustomed stimulus is often seen in 
hypnosis. If on the occasion of the first hypnotization 
the patient's arm has been fixed in a certain attitude at 
the moment the process was completed, it is very probable 
that the arm will spontaneously assume the same attitude 
at each subsequent sitting. In fact, the position will 
become an integral part of the process, unless the im- 
pression is removed by suggestion. 

According to the school of Nancy, suggestion is the key 
to the whole position. By it the patient is hypnotized, 
and without it he lies like a log, inert in mind and body. 
By it, one centre can be made to act independently of 
others, and can be thrown into functional activity without 
the corresponding actions of those ordinarily associated 
with it. Thus, connections advantageous to the organism 
can be formed, and unfavourable associations can be 
modified or broken off. 

The state of the subject lying passive and unacted 
upon by suggestion very closely resembles natural sleep. 
The breathing becomes slow and regular, the pulse slower 
and more full, the pupils contract and the eyeballs turn 
upwards. There is generally relaxation of all the muscles, 
as in sleep, and the arm, if raised, falls at once, unless 
retained in its place by suggestion. Ophthalmoscopic 
examination of the retina shows neither anaemia nor 
congestion. If a state of profound hypnosis is kept up 
continuously for several days or weeks, as has some- 
times been done, changes are said to occur in the urine. 
The chief of these has been called ' inverted formula of 
the phosphates,' the relative proportion between the 
earthy and alkaline phosphates becoming changed. 
Dr. A. Voisin kept several patients who were subject to 


periodic attacks of insanity in the hypnotic state for from 
fifteen to thirty days,* and he and Dr. Harant carefully 
collected and examined the urine passed before and during 
hypnosis. They found this inversion of proportion the 
only characteristic difference (vide table, p. 253). 

But the amount of urea, fixed residue, and phosphoric 
acid were all slightly increased, thus justifying him in 
stating that in such cases the nutritive and eliminative 
functions were better performed in the hypnotic than in 
the waking state. 

Voisin conducted these experiments in consequence 
of a paper read before the Academie des Sciences by 
Dr. Gilles de la Tourette, in which that opponent of the 
Nancy school stated the results of experiments he had 
made on some hysterical patients and on some subjects 
in Charcot's stages of hypnosis. He also found the ratio 
of earthy phosphates to that of the alkaline phosphates 
inverted from the normal proportion of 1 to 3 to 1 to 2, 
and sometimes 1 to 1. He moreover found the quantity 
of urea, phosphates, and fixed residue diminished in 
both hysteria and hypnosis as well as diminution in the 
quantity of urine passed, and he therefore concluded that 
the hypnotic state is a hysterical neurosis, and that it is 
attended with serious disturbance of nutrition. Here 
again we see the antagonism between the schools of Paris 
and Nancy, and in this case it would certainly seem that 
reason is on the side of Dr. Voisin, for whereas Gilles de 
la Tourette's experiment extended only over a few hours, 
that of Voisin extended, as we have seen, over weeks. 
The experiments of the former were, as is generally the 
case in Paris, made upon hysterical subjects who were 
hypnotized : it was therefore natural that the secretion 
should partake of the characters of hysterical urine. 
Dr. Voisin's figures also lose much of their value in 
consequence of his subjects being in a state of mental 
disease, so that experiments on healthy persons are wanted 
to decide this point. 

* Revue de V Hypnotisme, March, 1891. 




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And this brings me to the vexed point whether hypnosis 
is pathological, and a neurosis, as is contended by Charcot, 
or physiological, and even indicative of perfect mental 
health, as is asserted by Bernheim, Voisin, Forel, Dejerine 
and others. I have little doubt myself but that Ic grand 
hypnotisme of Charcot, when it occurs spontaneously, is a 
distinct neurosis of the hysterical type, and that many of 
the phenomena of advanced hypnosis are only obtainable 
in subjects of neurotic temperament. But that all people 
who have been hypnotized, or might be hypnotized, are 
hysterical or neurotic would be to so classify the great 
majority of mankind. 

Dr. Buzzard says that most brain - workers and men 
of energy are more or less neurotic, and that the word 
should not carry the reproach with which it is sometimes 
associated. Even if most brain-workers are neurotic, I 
cannot so characterize agricultural labourers, soldiers, or 
sailors, and we know that among them are often found 
the best subjects for hypnotic experiments. 

A most masterly and judicial exposition of hypnotism 
is contributed by Professor Tamburini of Modena, who 
impartially holds the balance between the theories of 
Bernheim and those of Charcot. He and Dr. Seppilli 
experimented on a hystero-epileptic patient, and published 
their notes on the case in 1882. At that time the important 
part now assigned to suggestion was not fully recognised, 
and in dealing with experiments made more than fifteen 
years ago one has to guard against the possible invalida- 
tion of the facts brought forward by unintentional sugges- 
tion. Tamburini, however, is positive on this point, for 
he approached the subject in a most sceptical spirit, and 
under the impression that the patient's unconsciousness 
was merely simulated. But he obtained all the phenomena 
described by Charcot at once, without difficulty, and with- 
out suggestion being possible. The further experiments 
of Vizioli, Grocco, and Lombroso in Italy fully confirm 
his results, and make it impossible to doubt that the 
stages described by Charcot are real somatic phenomena 


occurring in certain individuals. Tamburini, however, 
traverses Charcot's assertion that such phenomena are 
characteristic of all cases of Ic grand hypnotisme, and con- 
tends that they are rare accompaniments of hysteria in 
hypnotized subjects of the hystero-epileptic type. Tam- 
burini considers that these somatic phenomena are not 
obtainable in their entirety even by means of suggestion 
in ordinary hypnotized subjects, nor even in the majority 
of hysterical subjects. Hypnotism merely accentuates and 
brings into prominence the characteristics of the patient, 
both physical and psychical, whether they be undeveloped 
or suppressed. To enforce this theory, he cites cases where 
Charcot's phenomena have occurred in hystero-epileptic 
subjects in the waking state, just as in a few rare instances 
stigmata have been spontaneously produced without hyp- 
notism. Hypnotism, by cutting off the life of relation, 
greatly facilitates the production of these accompaniments 
of extreme hysteria.* 

He sums up the condition seen in the three stages as 
hyperexcitability of the nervous centres, which shows 
itself in different ways, according to the nature, intensity 
and duration of the stimulus applied. Hypnotism, in 
fact, increases the reflex excitability of the nervous centres, 
which is always abnormally present in hysterical persons, 
and in these cases it practically induces an attack of 
la grandc hysterie, complicated with hypnotic phenomena. 
Tamburini therefore considers Charcot's stages as not 
characteristic of hypnotism, but as merely illustrating 
the only essential features of the condition, viz., increased 
susceptibility to suggestion and increased reflex excitability. 
The stages of hypnosis he considers as only a form of 
classification, such as we might adopt in speaking of the 
relative profundity of natural sleep. 

It follows, from what he has written, that Tamburini 
refuses to regard hypnotism as pathological or a neurosis, 
but he considers it a psychical state, which may be 
induced in healthy persons, and which is as varied in its 

* Riv. Sperinietit, vol. xvi. 


manifestations as are the temperaments and constitutions 
of the subjects. 

Braid found increased action of the heart with accelera- 
tion of the pulse, and he therefore warned experimenters 
to be careful with subjects in whom heart trouble was 
suspected. Tamburini and Seppilli, in their experiments 
on hysterical subjects hypnotized by the method of fixa- 
tion, got similar results, which they have very carefully 
recorded. They found that in the stages of lethargy 
(Charcot), the tracing tends to rise progressively, whereas 
in catalepsy the reverse is the case. This shows that in 
the former state the vessels undergo dilatation, with conse- 
quent increased volume of the pulse, whereas in catalepsy 
they progressively contract. In somnambulism the con- 
dition approaches closely that observed in lethargy. The 
volume of the pulse augmented in the passage from the 
waking to the hypnotic state, and the changes indicated 
by the sphygmograph in the transition from one state to 
another, were instantaneous. 

In the profounder states of hypnotism I have found 
nearly constantly present a tonic contraction of the 
capillaries and smaller arteries, so that wounds bleed 
less freely than in the waking state, and it is often 
possible — as is sometimes shown in platform experi- 
ments — -to make a considerable puncture without drawing 

The phenomena observed in the respiratory sphere are 
exactly what we should expect. Tamburini and Seppilli 
find that when hypnosis is induced by fixation of the 
eyes disturbance of rhythm commences at once ; and as 
long as the subject's attention is fixed it is quick and 
shallow, or it may even intermit or cease entirely for as 
long as a minute. But invasion of sleep is always marked 
by a profound inspiration. During lethargy the breathing 
is deep, becomes slower and slower, and tends to be 
accompanied by stertor. When catalepsy is induced by 
opening the eyes, there is an immediate arrest of respira- 
tory movement — at whatever stage it has reached — and 


this suspension may last a minute or longer. The 
breathing then becomes of peculiar character and rhythm, 
inspiration being slow, and expiration still slower. In 
somnambulism the character of the respiration partakes 
more of the character of that seen in lethargy, but is some- 
what more irregular. During natural sleep, as in the 
waking state, there exists a rhythm between the move- 
ments of the chest and abdomen in respiration, but Gilles 
de la Tourette states that in hypnosis this rhythm is 
altered, and that the movements are no longer associated, 
and may even become antagonistic (Diet, des Sciences 
Med., ' Hypnotisme'). In reading Gilles de la Tourette's 
writings on hypnotism we must remember that he refers 
to experiments on the most hysterical subjects, and it is 
well to bear in mind Preyer's warning against confusing 
post hoc with propter hoc symptoms. 

Preyer remarks that the disturbance in the circulation 
and respiration noticed by some observers does not depend 
upon the hypnotic state, but is the result of the nervous 
stimuli used — whether visual, tactile, or auditory ; and in 
support of this contention he maintains that persons in 
the waking state exposed to similar sensory stimulation 
will exhibit the same phenomena. They are, in fact, the 
result of inhibition of the respiratory centre, producing 
shallow and rapid breathing, and of the regulating circu- 
latory centres, causing increased rapidity of the heart's 
action with heightened arterial tension from vaso-motor 

When hypnotism has been induced by simple verbal 
suggestion without any special sensory excitation, no 
such alteration of the pulse and respiratory rhythm is 
observable ; and it is also seen after the patient has 
rested a few minutes in a state of hypnotic lethargy 
induced by fixation, that the breathing and pulse assume 
the character found in ordinary sleep. Tamburini, there- 
fore, considers that the respiratory and circulatory 
symptoms observable in Charcot's stages of hypnotism 
are simply manifestations of the conditions characteristic 




of this state — general increased muscular tonicity with 

It would thus appear that the principal Italian investi- 
gators are fairly in accord as to the phenomena of 

' v - ^ •- N [S rs h ^^^ rv. 


Fig. i. 

hypnosis, only that Morselli denies the possibility of 
Charcot's stages occurring spontaneously, while Tam- 
burini asserts that he has seen them so occur in excep- 
tional cases. I have not yet come across a case in which 


Charcot's stages have been producible, but I believe that 
such cases exist. Morselli's experiments are so full and 
graphic that I reproduce them as being thoroughly illus- 
trative of the effect suggestion in the hypnotic state has 
upon the heart and respiration. My own experiments, as 



far as they have gone, are thoroughly corroborative of 

The subject of these experiments was a healthy young 
girl presenting no signs of hysteria, unacted upon by 

;V Si. 

v\ .k^jv^.^kkxv £j>aJa 


Fig. 3. 

magnets, and not susceptible to Charcot's stages. She 
was always hypnotized by Professor Morselli or Dr. Tanzi 
by suggestion alone. From the first she fell into a state 
of profound trance, and was extremely susceptible to 
suggestion. The respiration was measured with Marey's 

Fig. 4. 

pneumograph, and the pulse with Mosso's aerosphyg- 

Fig. 1 shows the tracings taken when the subject was 
awake and in her normal state. They show how the 
ordinary ' life of relation,' thoughts, ideas and impressions 
influence the rhythm and regularity of the functions. 

17 — 2 


Fig. 2 shows the tracings taken when the patient is lying 
tranquil and in a state of deep trance, unacted upon by the 
environment, and in a state of complete psychical repose. 

In Fig. 3 the subject is told that she is to lift an 
imaginary weight. At X she raises it, and at X X she is 
told to put it down. The effect in the tracing is the 
same as if a real weight were being borne. There is 
the muscular contraction and preparation for the effort, 
followed by relaxation. This supports the theory that 
the idea is attended by motor accompaniments. 

Fig. 4 represents the tracings taken when an attack of 
hiccough was induced by suggestion. 

Fig. 5. 

Fig. 5 represents the tracings taken when suggestions 
had been made leading up to a state of stupor, which 
the experimenters found a close reproduction of those 
observed in the idiopathic condition. 

It is plain that the only characteristic symptoms of 
hypnosis in this case were slight increase in volume of 
the pulse and marked equalization of the respiratory 
curves. In fact, they are just what we should expect to 
find in a condition of absolute psychological repose. On 
the other hand, Charcot, Gilles de la Tourette, Tamburini, 
and others, as we have seen, describe marked changes in 
the phenomena of the circulatory and respiratory functions 
in the different stages of Ic grand hypnotisme. 

Morselli found that by suggesting the symptoms he 
almost invariably and immediately produced the respiratory 


curves and pulse tracings belonging to that condition, and 
he was even able to obtain the characteristic tracings of 
melancholia, mania, and other mental disorders.* 

Preyer says that the rapidity of the pulse increases in 
some persons and diminishes in others, and directs that 
great care be taken to avoid error in gauging the blood- 
pressure. He finds that the pulse-rate frequently falls at 
first, but on the induction of catalepsy it becomes greatly 
quickened, and the radial artery is so compressed by 
muscular constriction that the pulse in it can hardly 
be felt. He also notices that the capillaries of the face 
are often very full during hypnosis, though sometimes 
there is pallor, or alternate pallor and flushing ; but he 
thinks we should be wrong to infer from this that either 
anaemia or hyperaemia of the brain is necessarily present. 
Preyer finds that persons who have naturally very dry 
skins readily perspire in the hypnotic state, and that 
the head is especially affected in this way. I have very 
frequently been able to induce perspiration by suggestion, 
in persons who were in only the lighter grades of hypnosis. 

Preyer found that after long hypnotic trance the 
chlorides and phosphates were greatly diminished ; but 
the subject experimented on was markedly hysterical. 
It is but natural, however, to suppose that prolonged 
inactivity of the muscles and of psychical functions would 
be accompanied by greatly diminished waste and meta- 
bolism of tissue. Liebeault considers that hypnotic 
lethargy is a state similar to that assumed by hibernating 
animals, and he conceives it possible that organic life 
might be preserved for a very long period if the subject 
were kept warm and absolutely removed from sensory 
stimuli. He supposes that respiration would fall to eight, 
the pulse to thirty, and the excretion of urinary products 
to something very small. In the case referred to by 
Dr. Voisin, the patient was fed as usual, and, as has been 
seen, her excretions differed but little from the normal 
waking standard. 

* ' Contributo sperimentale alia Fisiopsicologia dell' Ipnotismo.' 
Morsellii e Tanzi. Milan, 1889. 


Part I. — Some cases successfully treated by Hypnotism and Sugges- 
tion by other Authors: i. Aggravated Hysteria; 2. Hysterical 
Contracture ; 3. Hysterical Aphonia ; 4. Chorea ; 5. Hysteria ; 
6. Pseudo-paralysis ; 7. Writer's Cramp ; 8. Rheumatism ; 9. 
Articular Rheumatism ; 10. Neuralgiaof Fifth Nerve ; 11. Sciatica; 
12. Nocturnal Enuresis: 13. Amenorrhoea ; 14. Menorrhagia; 
15. Partial Hemiplegia; 16. Hypochondriasis; 17. Hysteria 
and the Chloral Habit : 18. Moral Depravity ; 19. Neuralgia 
and Hemiplegia ; 20. Headache and Dyspepsia : 21. Chronic 
Alcoholism ; 22. Neurasthenia and Deficiency of Saliva ; 23. 
Confinement under Hypnotism ; 24. Loss of Speech for Ten 
Years; 25. Functional Paraplegia and Hemianesthesia ; 26 to 
29. Epilepsy; 30. Intermittent Fever; 31. Syphilitic Retinitis; 
32. Epilepsy ; 2i3- Acute Mania. 

Part II. — Some cases treated by the Author : 1. Insomnia; 2. Neur- 
asthenia ; 3. Writer's Cramp ; 4. Tabes Dorsalis ; 5. Torticollis ; 
6. Traumatic Headache ; 7. Chronic Diarrhoea ; 8. Paroxysmal 
Sneezing; 9. Chronic Constipation; 10. Supra-orbital Neuralgia ; 
11. Spinal Irritation ; 12. Functional Heart Trouble ; 13. Symp- 
toms dependent on Organic Heart Disease; 14. Enuresis Noc- 
turna ; 15. Gouty Sciatica ; 16. Chronic Rheumatism ; 17. Nervous 
Dyspepsia; 18. Amenorrhoea; 19. Functional Dysmenorrhcea ; 
20. Post-Parturition Troubles; 21. Dipsomania; 22. Moral Case; 
23. Tobacco Habit; 24. Neurasthenia; 25. Alcoholism; 26. 
Nervous Exhaustion : 27. Extreme Anemia ; 28. Kleptomania ; 
29. Mischievous Morbid Impulse; ^o. Agoraphobia; 31. Morbid 

In this chapter I propose to give an extract of cases 
successfully treated by hypnotic suggestion from the 
writings of Professor Bernheim and others. Most of the 
reports are much abridged from the originals. 

Case i. — Aggravated Hysteria for a Year completely cured 
by Suggestion in Three Sittings.^ 

Madame X ,aged twenty-six; mother of two children. 

A lady of good constitution and lively temperament. She 
had not suffered from any symptom of hysteria until 1885, 

* Bernheim, op. at., p. 399. 


when an attack was brought on by some domestic trouble. 
From that time any annoyance induced a nervous crisis ; 
otherwise she continued in good health. 

Dr. Bernheim was consulted in October, 1886. The 
attacks had then increased in frequency and severity. 
They occurred about once a week, and were ushered in 
by a feeling of general weight and heaviness, and by a 
sense of constriction at the throat. These premonitory 
symptoms were followed by a deep sleep, which lasted 
from ten minutes to an hour. After this came general 
muscular tremors, which increased to strong convulsive 
movements, alternating with general rigidity, arching of 
the spine, etc. On this stage followed one of muttering 
and hallucinations, loud laughter and gesticulation. After 
the attack had lasted from one to two hours it passed off, 
leaving great exhaustion and malaise, with complete for- 
getfulness of what had occurred during the fit. On 
October 19 Dr. Bernheim was consulted ; he examined 
her and found nothing organically wrong. He hypnotized 
her, and she at once fell into a profound sleep. He 
suggested while she was in this state that there should 
be a disappearance of the malady, and that it should not 
reappear. On October 21 and 23 she returned, and was 
again subjected to the treatment. There was no further 
need for suggestion, as the patient was cured and remained 
free from hysteria. 

Case 2. — Hysterical Contracture of the Leg. By Dr. Du- 
montpallicr (Physician to the Hotel Dieu, Paris).* 

The following case presents so many points of interest, 
and so well shows the Nancy method of procedure, that 
I give it at some length : 

The patient, a young girl of eighteen, was under the 
care of Professor Verneuil at the Hotel Dieu for hysterical 
contraction of the pelvi-trochanter muscles and of the 
flexors of the knee, dating from an attack of coxalgia 

* Being portion of a clinical lecture, translated from the Revue 
de V Hypnotisme, April, 1890. 


some months previous. The limb had been forcibly 
extended under chloroform, and been kept in mechanical 
appliances for three months and a half without benefit, 
when Dr. Dumontpallier was called in to see her, and he 
thus describes her condition : There was general cutaneous 
and sensory anaesthesia of the right side, with paresis of 
the right arm ; complete retention of urine, so that the 
catheter had to be passed several times a day ; there were 
also hysterical symptoms, starting from the left ovary. 
The left side was normal in respect to sensation and 
muscular power, and menstruation was regular. The 
girl had had her first attack of hysteria two years before 
as the result of a fright, and from that time had been 
subject to various nervous troubles. 

Dr. Dumontpallier determined to try the method of 
' hypnotization by persuasion.' The patient was extremely 
nervous and apprehensive in consequence of the number 
of unsuccessful treatments she had undergone, and the 
doctor proceeded to soothe and quiet her as follows : 
' My poor girl, you have endured a great deal of suffering, 
and you are in a very sad plight for one so young. You 
have a disorder of the nerves, but I shall be able to cure 
you, or at least to relieve your suffering, if you will do as 
I tell you and allow yourself to fall asleep : you will have 
no fear, but will feel quite at your ease, and when you 
awake you will find that you are better.' He then told 
her to look at him, and repeated several times ' Sleep, 
sleep, sleep.' Soon her eyes became humid, her eyelids 
fell, her eyes gradually closed, and in a few moments she 
passed into a state of somnambulism. She answered 
when spoken to, and the left side became as anaesthetic 
as the right. 

Dr. Dumontpallier then made suggestions : ' The ap- 
paratus will soon be removed, and you will then find that 
you can move your toes, extend your leg, and turn from 
the right on to the left side ; you will feel a desire to pass 
water, and you will ask for the chamber and be able to 
use it without difficulty. You will sleep an hour, and 


when you awake you will recall to mind all the suggestions 
I have made to you, and this evening at the moment you 
fall asleep you will think of what has been done this 
morning.' Dr. Dumontpallier was careful to suggest that 
while the right side became well there should be nothing 
amiss with the left side, as he feared ' transfer ' might 
otherwise take place. On returning to the ward the next 
day he found that the patient had awakened at the end 
of an hour and had asked for and used the chamber. 
The catheter was not again used, and at night she slept 
on the left side for the first time for several months. 

The girl was hypnotized daily, and steadily improved 
without having any relapse, until on the fourth day the 
apparatus was removed and she was able to sit up in a 
chair and move her leg. 

In a few days more the patient was able to walk, and 
the atrophy of the long-disused muscles began to disap- 
pear with exercise and massage. 

Case 3. — Hysterical Aphonia for Two Months, rapidly cured 
by Suggestion.* 

Madame C. L , aged thirty, has been hysterical since 

girlhood. On January 15, 1884, having been voiceless 
for two months, she consulted Dr. Bernheim, who first 
applied electricity to the throat externally, affirming the 
while that it would cure her. As that, however, had no 
effect, he hypnotized her, and at once induced a profound 
sleep. He suggested to her while she slept that her voice 
should return, but on awakening her he found no improve- 
ment. The second and third seances were equally 
unsuccessful. At the fourth she slept more heavily, 
and Dr. Bernheim was able to make her say she expected 
to be cured in eight dayst (the following Tuesday). He 
continued to hypnotize her daily, and each day he caused 

* Bernheim, op. cit., p. 427. 

t In many cases it is most important to get the patient to fix a time 
for his cure ; the idea becomes deeply implanted, and in hysterical 
cases it is generally realized. Of course, the sleep must be very pro- 
found to make this possible. 


her to repeat that she was to be cured on the Tuesday. 
When that day came she was quite unconscious of having 
made this prophecy, she was still voiceless, and was 
hypnotized as usual. Dr. Bernheim told her she must 
speak when he awoke her, and impressed her strongly 
with this idea. On arousing her she said in a feeble 
voice, ' I think I can speak now.' The voice became 
gradually stronger, and by the evening was restored to 
its normal quality and volume. Dr. Bernheim gives many 
other cures of hysterical aphonia, several of them after one 

Case 4. — Choreic Movements of the Hands and Inability to 
Write, cured by Hypnotic Suggestion. 

Victorine L , aged twelve and a half, of lymphatic 

temperament and good constitution, affected with chorea 
of the right side. It appears that when she was four and 
a half years old she suffered from general chorea, brought 
on by fright. It was a very severe attack, as she could 
neither walk nor talk, and had a great difficulty in eating. 
It lasted three months. A second attack of the same kind 
came on when she was seven and a half. She was attacked 
a third and fourth time at intervals of two years. In the 
fifth attack she was brought to Dr. Liebeault for treatment. 
It commenced on May 27, and on that day she had seven 
very violent fits, on the 28th and 29th the same number, 
and then she was hypnotized for the first time. Afterwards, 
in the afternoon, she had two fits slighter than the preced- 
ing ones. On May 31 again hypnotized. On that day 
she had one fit, and then no more until June g, when she 
returned to be treated for a relapse brought on by fright. 
Professor Beaunis happened to be at the dispensary, and 
he got the patient to attempt to sign her name. In spite 
of much effort, the child — a very intelligent and docile 
little girl — completely failed to make any distinguishable 
letter on the paper (Fig. 6). Dr. Liebeault hypnotized her, 
and while asleep she was directed to write her name. 
The result was fairly legible and she wrote without 



hesitation or trembling. She was soon awakened, and 
again told to write. Without difficulty she at once wrote 
her name and address in very creditable style (Fig. 7). 

Fig. 6. 

For the next few days she continued under observation 
and treatment, and was then discharged perfectly cured. 

Fig. 7. 

Professor Beaunis says he makes no remarks on this 
case, as the handwriting appeals more than words can to 
an unprejudiced mind.* 

* Beaunis, op. tit., p. 236. 


Case 5. — Hysteria, Sleeplessness, Want of Appetite, Tremors, 
Depression of Spirits, cured by Suggestion in Two Sittings. 

Mademoiselle X , aged twenty-seven, an intelligent 

lady who had enjoyed good health and spirits, and was free 
from hysteria until August, 1885 ; at that time she had a 
disappointment which changed everything. 

In February, 1886, she consulted Dr. Bernheim. She 
had then suffered for months from complete want of 
appetite, sleeplessness, giddiness, especially on lying down, 
terrible dreams when she did sleep, and slight muscular 
tremors in the limbs, so that it was not easy for her to 
keep her hand steady. She had been treated with 
bromides and antispasmodics without success. He hypno- 
tized her, and she slept easily and profoundly. He sug- 
gested the disappearance of all her troubles, and after two 
seances all the morbid symptoms had disappeared, she 
slept well, and ate with appetite. Her spirits were as 
good as ever. Dr. Bernheim adds that she remained 

Case 6. — Intermittent Pseudo-Paralysis of the Lower Limbs, 
with Convulsive Trembling of the Legs for nearly Four 
Years, cured by One Hypnotic Suggestion. 

Madame S , aged twenty-six. After much domestic 

trouble and a bad miscarriage, this lady completely lost 
the use of her lower limbs for three months. The 
paralysis disappeared as suddenly as it came, but returned 
again in a few weeks. These intermissions and relapses 
followed each other every few weeks, up to the time 
Dr. Bernheim saw her, for nearly four years. She had 
undergone all kinds of treatment — including electricity 
and massage — at the hands of the most eminent neurolo- 
gists of Paris, but nothing seemed to shorten the terms of 
paralysis or to avert them. On May 29, 1887, Dr. Bern- 
heim was sent for to Paris to see her. He found her 
perfectly free from the ordinary symptoms of hysteria, in 
good general health without any organic disease, and 


unusually bright and intelligent. While lying down she 
was able to move the legs perfectly well, but when 
Dr. Bernheim made her attempt to stand, she at once 
collapsed, and would have fallen to the floor had she not 
been supported. On moving the legs they were seized 
with tremors, over which she had no control. 

He found the reflexes normal, and all the functions 

On being hypnotized she fell into a light sleep, during 
which she was conscious of everything going on around 
her. On being aroused she denied having been at all 
influenced. Dr. Bernheim, while she was in the hypnotic 
state, moved the legs, and assured her she would be able to 
stand and walk quite well when he told her to try. 

After the operation he insisted on her making the 
attempt, and, to her surprise, she was able to both stand 
firmly and walk with confidence. 

He hypnotized her again the next day, when she fell 
into the third stage of sleep, and the suggestions were 

Madame S had been suffering from the present 

attack for six weeks when Dr. Bernheim was called in. 
He had opportunities of seeing the patient at intervals 
afterwards, and there was no relapse."' 

Case 7. — Writer's Cramp for Three Years ; Rapid Improve- 
ment; Temporary relapse; finally cured by Suggestion. 

H. C , aged forty-seven, an accountant, consulted 

Dr. Bernheim, November 18, 1885. He was healthy and 
strong, and in no wise nervous or hysterical. Three 
years before he began to feel symptoms of the malady. 
After writing a few lines all the fingers became contracted, 
and he had to desist for a time. At first he was able to 
write again after a short rest, but gradually the cramp 
became worse, so that he was unable to sign his own 
name. By means of various devices he contrived to go 

* Bernheim, op. cit., p. 457. 


on a little longer, but at the time he consulted Dr. Bern- 
heim he had been compelled for three months to write 
with his left hand. He was hypnotized, and at once fell 
into the third degree of sleep. Dr. Bernheim suggested 
the disappearance of the cramp. On awaking he was able 
to write two lines and a half without cramp. The next 
day he wrote eight lines without cramp. 

On November 21 the patient was able to write a 
business letter, and only complained of feeling heaviness 
in the wrist, and a slight tendency to flexion of the fingers. 

On November 24 the improvement was still maintained, 
and Dr. Liebeault took charge of the case during Pro- 
fessor Bernheim's absence for two months. In the 
middle of December a relapse took place, and the patient 
again became unable to write more than a few lines. He 
left off treatment until January 29, when he again con- 
sulted Dr. Bernheim. Improvement now rapidly set in, 
and progressed until, on March 2, he finally discontinued 
treatment, being perfectly cured. He has gone back to his 
office, and writes all day long without fatigue or cramp.* 

Case 8. — Rheumatic Pains in the Shoulder-joint for Three or 
Four Months, completely cured in Two Sittings. 

Emile L , aged sixty-one, a glass-maker, consulted 

Dr. Liebeault, November 30. He had never suffered 
from rheumatic fever, but nine years before had had 
sciatica for three years. 

When seen, the pain was in both the shoulders, but 
especially the right one, at the place where the collar- 
bone articulates with the scapula. There was also a 
tender spot above the anterior superior spine of the ilium 
on the left side. It was most felt on stooping. Besides 
all this there were pains in both knees. The patient was 
hypnotized, and fell into a light sleep. On awaking the 
pains in the knees were gone, and those in the shoulder 
were much better. He had been unable for three weeks 
to dress himself, but now he was able to do so. 

* Bernheim, op. cii., p. 486. 


On November 3 he was again hypnotized, and again 
slept lightly. He awoke perfectly cured, and remained 

Case 9. — A rticular Rheumatism for Three Months, cured 
by Suggestion in Two Days. 

Jeanne M , aged seventeen, consulted Dr. Bernheim, 

August 3, 1887. She was brought to a hospital in a 
carriage, and into the consulting-room supported with 
difficulty by two persons, being quite unable to stand 
alone. She was lymphatic, pale and thin, and had had 
an attack of hysteria brought on by chagrin some months 

Since May she had suffered from subacute rheumatism, 
which had gradually and steadily become worse. 

Dr. Bernheim found that both wrists were extremely 
painful, but not swollen. The first joints of the fingers 
were greatly swollen and acutely painful on pressure. The 
left knee was slightly swollen and very tender. There was 
also pain below the right ankle and in the joints of the 
toes. The spine was tender on pressure. 

There was also amenorrhoea, leucorrhoea, and sleepless- 
ness. The patient was hypnotized and fell into a sound 

On August 6, after two sittings, she felt very much 
better. She slept well, had a good appetite, and had 
hardly any pain. The swelling of the joints had almost 
entirely disappeared, and there was only tenderness on 
pressure. She was again hypnotized, and the suggestion 
made that she should feel no more pain. 

On August 8 she returned completely well and cured 
of all the symptoms, was able to walk perfectly and with- 
out any pain, and was altogether a changed person. t 

* Bernheim, op. at., p. 539. 
t Ibid., p. 544. 


Case io. — Neuralgia of the Fifth Nerve for a Year, with Tic- 
douloureux for a Month ; Rapid Improvement and Cure in 
Ten Days. 

Charles X , aged sixty, entered the hospital July 27, 

1885. His trouble had commenced a year before with 
pain in the right side of the nose. The pain came on 
several times a day, and lasted from a few minutes to 
several hours. Since four weeks the pain had spread to 
the eye, the forehead, and all the right side of the face. It 
was very acute, and came on in paroxysms every hour or 
two, and lasted about half an hour. In the intervals there 
was no pain, but only a feeling of burning. There was 
lachrymation during the attacks, and they were also 
accompanied by convulsive movements of the face. 

The patient was strong and well otherwise for his age. 
Dr. Bernheim found the points of exit of the branches of 
the fifth nerve sensitive to pressure, and all the right 
cheek tender to the touch. On July 28, the first attempt 
to hypnotize him was unsuccessful ; but on July 30 he 
was successfully operated on, and when he awoke he felt 
much better. In the afternoon he had paroxysms of pain, 
but less intense, and he slept better that night than he had 
done for weeks. 

He was hypnotized about every second day until 
August g, by which date he was perfectly cured, and he 
remained well. 

Case ii. — Sciatica for Seven Weeks, cured by Suggestion in 

Six Days. 

Joseph L , aged forty-four, shoemaker, was admitted 

into the hospital under Dr. Bernheim, May 15, 1885. He 
was a weakly person of lymphatic temperament and with 
emphysema. He had continual pain along the course of 
the sciatic nerve of the left side, and this was everywhere 
painful on pressure, aggravated by sitting, and especially 
by lying down in bed. The leg felt heavy and numb, and 


the pains, which were pricking in character, radiated from 
above downwards. 

On May 20 he was hypnotized, and fell into the third 
degree of sleep. He felt better on awaking, and the curative 
suggestions were repeated daily until the 26th. Each day 
he became better, and in a week was perfectly cured. He 
had previously been treated with medicated baths at the 
hospital for three days without much effect.* 

Case 12. — Nocturnal Enuresis from Infancy, cured by a 
Single Suggestion.^ 

Jacob S , aged seventeen, of weak intellect, but strong 

and healthy, had always suffered from the above complaint. 
He had control over the functions during the day, but 
nearly every night he suffered from incontinence. 

He consulted Dr. Bernheim, December 28, and 
was hypnotized with great readiness. Suggestions were 
made to him while in a state of profound hypnotic sleep 
that he should awake several times in the night and leave 
the bed. 

He returned to the hospital, but required no further 
treatment, for the malady was at once cured, and did not 

Case 13. — A menorrhcea ; Suggestion that the Function should 
reappear on a Certain Day ; a Successful Result. 

Mademoiselle C , aged twenty-five, teacher, consulted 

Dr. Bernheim November 17, for the above-mentioned 
trouble. She had seen nothing since October 7, and in con- 
sequence she felt distended, a sense of constriction round the 
waist, and other symptoms referred to the same cause. She 
was a regular patient of Dr. Liebeault's, and she readily 
fell into a profound sleep. Dr. Bernheim suggested that 

* Bernheim, op. ctt., p. 548. 

+ J bid., p. 495. 

+ All practitioners of suggestion agree that the system is almost 
specific in the treatment of this troublesome complaint uncomplicated 
by organic defects. 



the function should be re-established on November 30, and 
made the patient repeat the suggestion after him. 

On November 30 she came to tell him that it had 
happened as he suggested. He hypnotized her again, 
and suggested December 28 for the next period. This 
also was realized.* 

Case 14. — Menorrhagia about every Twelve Days; altered 
by Suggestion to Twenty-eight or Twenty-nine Days, and 
finally cured. 

Madame H , aged thirty-five, mother of three 

children, the youngest of which is nine years old. 
Hysterical, but of good constitution. Before she had 
had children the period used to come on every three 
weeks, but for two years it had returned about every 
twelve or fourteen days, or even at shorter intervals. It 
was accompanied by pain and hysterical troubles, and was 
very copious. The patient readily fell into a profound 
sleep, and Dr. Bernheim suggested that the next period 
should not come on until October 9, should only last three 
days, and should not be accompanied by any pain. 

September 27 : This was the fifth seance, and the 
sixteenth day since her last period. She felt premonitory 
symptoms of its return — such as headache, and pain in 
the back. These symptoms, however, passed off, and by 
means of suggestions repeated every second day the 
period was retarded until the night of October 6 and 7, 
or twenty-six days. This was the first time in her life 
that there had been more than twenty-one days' interval, and 
the first time for two years that it exceeded sixteen days. It 
lasted three days, was unattended with pain, and was less 
copious than usual. 

On October 18 Dr. Bernheim recommenced hypnotic 
treatment, and suggested that the next period should 
be on December 4 or 5, and henceforth every four 

* Bernheim, op. cit., p. 557. 


It appeared at the end of twenty -four days. The 
treatment was continued until the following May, by 
which time the function was thoroughly regulated, and 
occurred every twenty-eighth or twenty-ninth day, with- 
out pain or other abnormal symptoms. During the 
treatment a number of nervous and catarrhal symptoms 

Case 15. — Partial Paralysis of the Left Side for Eight 
Days; rapid Improvement under Suggestion, and almost 
Complete Cure in Three Weeks. 

Louis C , aged sixty, house-painter, was taken into 

the hospital November 7, 1886. He had enjoyed good 
health until six days before, when he had suddenly felt a 
sensation of weight in the left leg. He returned home, 
and two hours later felt the same sensation in the left 
arm, accompanied by a pricking, which still continued 
when he entered the hospital. In the evening he was no 
longer able to use his left leg. 

Dr. Bernheim found the temperature and pulse normal, 
the arteries atheromatous and rigid. The features deviated 
markedly to the right. The patient sat up in bed with 
difficulty, and was unable to fully raise his left arm, which 
was also weak and easily tired. He was unable to stand. 
When lying down he was able to raise the left leg, but 
could not keep it up for more than four or five seconds. 
The reflexes were diminished, and he was unable to bend 
the instep. Sensibility normal. Constipation for four 
days, for which he was given an enema. 

On November 9 the patient was hypnotized, and fell 
at once into a profound sleep. On awaking he was able 
to hold up the left leg for ten seconds, and to bend the 
toes better. 

* Bernheim, op. a'/., p. 560. The effect of imagination and emotion 
in modifying the renal, alvine, uterine, lacteal and other secretions is 
so well known, that the striking results produced by hypnotic sugges- 
tion in their functional disturbance is not to be wondered at. In 
'Carpenter's Physiology' (loc. cit.) numerous examples are given. 



He was hypnotized the nth and 16th, with only slight 
effect. On November 17, after the suggestion, he was 
able to stand alone, and to walk with very little assistance. 

On November 19 he was able, after being hypnotized, 
to walk the length of the ward without help. He could 
hold the leg up when lying down for an indefinite time, 
and had quite regained power over it. The reflexes were 
slightly increased. 

He progressed steadily every day, and was able to walk 
downstairs on December 2. He still, however, felt a 
heaviness in the arm and leg, which prevented his using 
the brush or climbing ladders so well as formerly.* 

Professor Bernheim fully describes 105 cases of many 
kinds of disease treated by hypnotic suggestion. Among 
these are several examples of grave cerebral and spinal 
disease, in which the treatment seemed to prolong life, 
and of which it certainly relieved the suffering. 

Examination after death often revealed a great amount 
of disorganization, so that it seemed extraordinary that 
any treatment could bring about much improvement. He 
explains the good effects which attend suggestion, even 
where there has been extensive haemorrhage into the brain 
tissue followed by atrophic changes, by insisting that in 
disease of the nervous centres functional derangement 
often exists quite out of proportion to the actual lesion ; 
i.e., haemorrhage may destroy a portion of the brain 
substance, and this may react on the neighbouring zones 
by setting up sympathetic irritation. 

Neither suggestion nor anything else can, of course, do 
anything to restore the disorganized brain tissue ; but it 
is all-powerful, he observes, in the treatment of the sym- 
pathetic and functional troubles which accompany such a 
condition (op. cit., pp. 308-324). 

Case 16. — Aggravated Hypochondriasis. 

M. F. , aged forty-three, has suffered for a year 

from this malady. She is conscious of all her internal 

* Bernheim, op. cit., p. 342. 


organs, and their functions cause her painful and dis- 
tressing sensations, which makes her think that they are 
all more or less diseased. She has lost all hope, and is 
persuaded that she will never recover. She is debilitated 
and suffers from indigestion, does nothing but lament and 
analyze her sensations, lives in a perpetual state of agita- 
tion, and does not sleep. 

She was put under suggestive treatment, and fell into a 
light sleep. By its means sleep was restored, digestion 
re-established, and, above all, her attention was gradually 
diverted from her sufferings, real and imaginary, and in a 
few weeks she was cured.* 

Case 17. — Hysteria, Tendency to Tetaniform Spasms, 
Insomnia, Morphia and Chloral Habit.f 

Madame K was admitted for treatment, suffering 

from the above conditions. 

Hypnotic treatment combined with suggestion was 
employed to combat them. The narcotics were gradually 
discontinued, the spasms ceased, the natural sleep was 
regained by degrees, so that she was dismissed cured. 

Braidism was tried without suggestion at first, but it 
only aggravated the symptoms. 

Case 18. — Moral Depravity in a Boy ; cured by Suggestion. % 

On June 9, 1888, M. F , a youth aged sixteen, was 

brought to Dr. Voisin at the Salpetriere. From the age 
of six or seven he had been incorrigible. Not only did he 
tell lies, steal, play truant, and behave ill generally, but 
he also tried to corrupt all the children with whom he came 
in contact. He became worse and worse as he got older, 
and was turned out of several institutions into which his 
mother had procured his admission. (Dr. Voisin describes 
some of his vices, which are unfit for repetition, and which 

* Dr. Burckhardt, superintendent of the asylum at PreTargier, 
Revue de F Hypnotisme, August, 1888. 
t Ibid., loc. cit. 
; Voisin, Revue de F Hypnotisme, November, 1888. 


prove the youth to have been utterly depraved and bad.) 
On examination he was found to have an internal squint 
of the left eye, nystagmus, and haziness of the cornea. 
The tongue deviated to the left. Otherwise he was well 
made and healthy. He read with difficulty, and was very 
ignorant, though his memory and power of observation 
were sufficiently good. 

Dr. Voisin endeavoured to hypnotize him, but was not 
successful until the third seance. Once asleep, sugges- 
tions of moral reform were made. 

He began to improve at once, and by July 6 the youth 
was absolutely transformed. The wish to do evil first 
disappeared, and was then replaced by a desire to do 
right. His insubordination and disobedience had given 
place to a wish to please his mother. He expressed to 
Dr. Voisin the happiness he felt at being thus changed. 
He saw the doctor again on October 6, six weeks after 
the discontinuance of the treatment, and the cure was 

Dr. Bernheim and Dr. Liebeault give several instances 
of cures of moral diseases. The former, after describing 
a somewhat similar case to the above, asks if he can be 
accused of tampering with the child's free-will because he 
has repressed his bad qualities (op. cit., p. 357). 

Dr. Kingsbury publishes two cases of moral obliquity in 
children which he has treated and cured by hypnotism (op. 
cit., p. 191). 

Cases contributed by Dr. Van Eeden, of 

Case 19. — Neuralgia of the Neck and Left Shoulder; Para- 
lysis of the Left Arm and Leg, of Syphilitic Origin. 

A. H , aged thirty-four, is a strongly-built man, with 

an originally good constitution. He became infected eight 
years ago. Thirteen months ago he was suddenly attacked 
with total loss of power in the left arm and leg. 

On October 9 he consulted Dr. Van Eeden, and was 


then suffering from severe pain in the neck and left 
shoulder, which had lasted two months. The pain pre- 
vented his sleeping more than an hour or two at night. 
He had partially recovered from the paralysis, but for five 
months no progress had been made. He was unable to 
fully raise the left arm, to open the hand or extend the 
fingers. Antisyphilitic treatment had produced no effect 
for some months. 

The patient was hypnotized in the usual way, and the 
second degree of somnolence (slight catalepsy) was pro- 
duced. While in the hypnotic state suggestions were 
made to lessen the pain, and the rigidity of the semi- 
paralyzed limbs was relaxed by suggestions and active 
and passive movements. On awaking, the pain was 
found to be much relieved, and at night he slept for 

The treatment was continued daily for six weeks. By 
October 12 the pain had entirely disappeared, and he 
enjoyed eight hours' sleep every night henceforth. 

Movements were constantly employed during the hyp- 
notic state, and power gradually returned to the limbs, so 
that by November 8 the patient could extend all the 
ringers of the left hand, and keep the arm in a horizontal 
position for a considerable time. When treatment was 
discontinued after six weeks, he could make all the move- 
ments of the arm and hand freely. His walking power 
had also greatly increased. 

Case 20. — Cephalalgia, Gastrodynia, Dyspepsia. 

The patient, a little girl of eight, is a delicate child, and 
has suffered from continuous headache, want of appetite, 
and pain in the stomach. She rises nearly every day 
with a bad headache, and twice or thrice a week she is 
obliged to stay in bed on account of the pain. The 
stomach pains occur irregularly, last only a short time, 
and are very severe. She never has had a good appetite. 
Once only has she been free from pain — about three years 
ago, for a fortnight. 


On September 16 the child was hypnotized by Dr. 
Van Eeden for the first time. The sleep produced was 
profound, as is usual with children. In the first sitting 
the pain was quite removed by suggestion, and did not 
return for two weeks, though there was only one consul- 
tation. Since September 16 she has only twice had 
headache, and this was each time at once removed by 
suggestion. The child remains under treatment, as such 
cases necessarily require a long course. There has been 
no pain in the stomach since her first visit, the appetite 
is better, and the child's general health more satisfactory 
than it has been for years. 

Case 2T. — Chronic Alcoholism. 

M. G , a well-to-do man of forty-nine had for sixteen 

or seventeen years constantly drunk alcohol to excess. He 
has never during all that time given it up. On his best 
days he has only taken four to eight glasses of cognac, 
but mostly he has drunk twenty or more. He has had 
several attacks of delirium tremens, and his mental faculties 
are much deteriorated. He is unable to apply himself to 
any business requiring thought or attention, and is unable 
to write his name. His face is covered with pustules of acne. 

On September 27 he was hypnotized, and fell into a 
light sleep. Dr. Van Eeden suggested disgust for stimu- 
lants and increased strength of will. During the sleep 
the patient was persuaded to promise solemnly to leave 
off alcohol. He was also treated with arseniate of 
strychnia, 4 to 8 milligrammes daily. 

The treatment was continued daily for a week, then 
once a week for two weeks. After that no further sugges- 
tion was needed. From the time of the first sitting the 
patient took not a drop of alcoholic liquor, and though 
offered wine he refused it. Some restlessness and malaise 
were felt the first week. On October 4 he was able to 
write his name and to resume his business. Now (after 
two months) he feels quite well and strong, and is confi- 
dent of being able to keep his promise. The acne is 


cured, and he sleeps and eats well. He continued to visit 
Dr. Van Eeden from time to time as a precaution. 

In communicating these cases Dr. Van Eeden says 
' they are selected from many similar ones. My results 
are the best in the treatment of various nervous diseases, 
but the cases are too long to report. I may add that 
according to my own experience the effect of psychical 
treatment is best seen in the following diseases : Neuras- 
thenia, nervous debility, enuresis nocturna, slight or in- 
cipient brain troubles, morphia habit, alcoholism, bad 
habits in children, hysterical paralysis, nervous dyspepsia, 
anaemia, stammering, chorea, sleeplessness, nervous 
asthma. Combined with systematic movements during 
the hypnotic sleep, the treatment is of effective service 
in paralysis caused by apoplexy or embolism, and in 
infantile paralysis (acute anterior polio-myelitisi, if not 
of too long standing.' 

Drs. Van Renterghem and Van Eeden contributed a 
valuable paper to the International Congress on Hypno- 
tism held in Paris, 1S89.* In this they give very fully the 
results obtained in their clinique in nearly 500 consecutive 
cases. Many of these cases were not of a nature to benefit 
by any treatment, and most of them only came into these 
doctors' hands after other methods had failed. The 
reader of this paper must be favourably impressed by its 
candour and impartiality, and by the evident absence of 
exaggeration, which often seems inseparable from the 
advocacy of a new treatment, and which is certain to 
prejudice the professional mind against it. They attach 
much importance to the presence of a favourable environ- 
ment and to the observance of minutiae. They contend 
that by suggestion in the hypnotic state they can restore 
the balance of health by suppressing morbid action and 
by developing the vis mcdicatrix natures. They seek only 
to obtain the lighter grades of hypnosis in order that 

* Comples Rendus, Octave Doin, Paris, 1890. 


there may be no possible interference with the patient's 
free-will or individuality. 

Drs. Van Eeden and Van Renterghem have practised 
treatment by suggestion among the upper and middle 
classes of Amsterdam for three years, during which time 
they have applied the system in several hundred cases. 
They were both previously for many years in ordinary 
practice, and their testimony to the value of hypnotism 
and suggestion is therefore of great value. 

In dipsomania they have been very successful, and also 
in the treatment of bad habits and perverted instincts. 

In affections of the genito-urinary organs they have 
achieved good results, and also in many forms of dyspepsia 
and intestinal trouble. In morphinomania they have been 
successful when they have produced somnambulism. 

Like all physicians who have tried hypnotic suggestion 
in rheumatic affections, they express themselves pleased 
with the results, and they attribute the beneficial effect 
partly to the relief of subjective symptoms, such as pain, 
which depress the vitality, and partly to the regulative 
action it exercises over the circulation and secretions. 
They mention an interesting case of hystero-epilepsy and 
spontaneous catalepsy of several months' duration initiated 
by the experiments of a public lecturer on hypnotism. 
The young man was speedily cured by a course of medical 

From August, 1887, to June, 1889, they treated 414 
persons by hypnotic suggestion — 219 men and 195 women. 
In respect to their susceptibility they found as follows : 
Uninfluenced, 15 ; light sleepers, 217 ; profound sleepers, 
125 ; somnambulists, 47. As regards results they give 
the following figures : 53 discontinued treatment after the 
first or second visit, 71 were not improved, 92 improved, 
98 greatly improved, and 100 were cured. 

They agree with Dr. Forel that every person in sound 
mental health is susceptible to hypnotism under favour- 
able conditions. The difficulty being to discover the con- 
ditions necessary in each individual case, therein lies the 


opportunity for exercising the physician's tact and savoir 

Their success has been chiefly with the neuroses, but 
they give particulars of several cases of organic disease 
which have been benefited or cured. Among these are 
one case of right hemiplegia with asphasia of three 
months' duration (cured) ; four cases of hemiplegia (much 
improved) ; one case of paraplegia with loss of control 
over the sphincters (cured). In two cases of Bright's 
disease they effected great improvement, and suggestion 
seemed to stimulate the kidneys and relieve the oedema. 
In many of the slighter forms of mental disturbance they 
have been very successful. In epilepsy they have been 
unable to do much good. 

Case 22. — Neurasthenia with Deficiency of Saliva and 
Constipation for Thirty -five Years, cured by Suggestion.* 

Madame V , aged fifty-five, consulted Dr. Burot in 

August, 1888. She had for many years carried on the 
business of weaving hemp, and it had been her habit to 
moisten the thread with the saliva. When about twenty 
years of age this secretion showed signs of drying up, and 
at the same time obstinate constipation appeared. She 
lost her appetite and became anaemic, constantly drowsy, 
extremely weak and feeble, and altogether a confirmed 
invalid. At forty the change of life occurred, but it made 
no improvement in her health, which became worse and 

Dr. Burot found her suffering from pains all over the 
body, general malaise and anaemia. The tongue was red 
and dry, with prominent papillae. There was great dry- 
ness of the mouth, very deficient digestion, and obstinate 
constipation. The stools were infrequent, and their 
passage caused intense pain. The dryness of the mouth 
often prevented sleep. Dr. Burot hypnotized her and 
suggested increased flow of the digestive secretions, and 

* Reported by Professor Burot, of Rochefort, Revue de PHypnotisme, 
December, 1888. 


at the same time gently rubbed the salivary glands and 
the abdomen. 

After a month's treatment the patient was cured. The 
mouth became moist, the saliva abundant, digestion easy, 
and the bowels regular and comfortable. At the same 
time the general health was re-established, and she grew 
stouter and quite strong. 

Case 23. — Confinement* 

Professor Ramon Cajal, of Barcelona, reports a case in 
which he abolished the pains of labour, without in any 
way weakening the power of the uterine contractions, by 
hypnotic suggestion. The woman had been frequently 
hypnotized previously, and was the mother of five 
children. The labour was extremely rapid (occupying 
less than half an hour) and was quite painless. On the 
fifth day she resumed her household duties, and in a fort- 
night was quite well. Her previous confinements had all 
been tedious. 

Case 24. — Functional Dumbness with Melancholy, cured by 


J. D , aged thirty-six, was born of healthy parents, and 

was well and strong until her twenty-fifth year, when she 
fell suddenly ill. After a violent attack of hysteria, during 
which she uttered piercing cries, she became gradually 
perfectly dumb, then indifferent to her surroundings, and 
finally extremely feeble in body. After a course of treat- 
ment at a spa her health became re-established, but she 
remained mute in spite of all attempts to make her 

This condition had continued for ten years when Dr. 
Velander first saw her. She heard and saw perfectly, but 
she made no attempt to utter a sound, and she was also 
in a state bordering on melancholia. He hypnotized her, 
and she at once fell into a state of profound somnam- 

* Reported in British Medical Journal, October 9, 1889. 


In this state he tried in various ways to make her speak, 
but her lips never moved until, after an hour of fruitless 
effort, he ordered her to open the mouth, and he 
manipulated the tongue with a considerable degree of 
force, and told her he had broken the strings which tied 
it and that she could speak. 

After a few minutes' friction of the temples she actually 
did utter a few words in a faltering and husk)- voice. She 
returned for treatment daily, and in two weeks, Dr. 
Velander says, he had the pleasure of sending her home 
perfectly cured, not only in speech but in spirits.* 

Dr. Velander reports having treated over 600 cases by 
the Nancy method, and testifies to his satisfaction with 
the results. His experience tallies with that of other 
observers, for he finds it most successful in pains in 
general, neuralgia, sleeplessness, incipient melancholy, 
dysmenorrhcea, amenorrhcea, incontinence of urine, 
sleep-walking, acute and chronic rheumatism, nervous 
amblyopia, vicious habits, and dipsomania. 

Case 25. — Functional Paraplegia, and Hemianesthesia, 
treated by Suggestion. t 

The patient had had a fall, and as a result had been 
paralyzed for twelve months. The legs were flaccid and 
absolutely powerless, and the nurse always had to arrange 
the feet. The muscles were so atrophied as to be hardly 

The patient on being hypnotized at once fell into a 
profound sleep. While in this stage the leg was raised in 
a horizontal position, and the suggestion made that it 
must remain so. It remained extended for a few moments, 
and thus afforded evidence of the functional nature of the 

Suggestions of ability to stand, raise the legs, cross 
them, etc., have resulted after ten sittings in power during 
the waking state to lift the legs together, cross one leg over 

* Dr. Velander, of Yonkoping, Sweden, contributed a report of this 
case to the congress. 

t Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June, 1890. 


the opposite knee, and to stand easily for a short time. 
The chronic constipation has yielded, and the spinal pains, 
which were very troublesome, have disappeared. 

The urine was formerly retained, but the retention was 
much relieved. The leg muscles greatly increased in size, 
and became firm under the touch. The patient was made 
to repeat the suggestions after the physician, and this plan 
was found to increase their efficacy. 

Dr. Osgood in referring to this case later, says that the 
improvement has been maintained, and that the patient 
can now walk. 

Cases 26 to 29. — Four Cases of Epilepsy, treated by Dr. 
Edgar Berillon.* 

1. M. N , aged thirty-five, has had frequent fits, 

occurring almost without warning, so that she has often 
fallen in the streets. The attacks have been violent, and 
during them she has foamed at the mouth and has bitten 
her tongue. 

After hypnotic treatment the fits ceased and did not 
reappear for twelve months. Then she had three attacks 
one after the other, and she again applied for treatment. 
She was again hypnotized, and up to the time of the 
report (two months) she had had no relapse. 

2. Madam A , aged twenty-eight, came under treat- 
ment. Since twelve years of age she had wetted the bed 
at night, and at seventeen she began to have nocturnal 
crises during sleep. In the course of these attacks she 
used to foam at the mouth and bite her tongue. Her 
husband said that her sleep was disturbed by nightmare, 
and that she ground her teeth. When she became enceinte 
she had violent attacks of convulsions. When she came 
under treatment, the skin of her chest, arms, and hands 
presented numerous marks of vitiligo. The patient had 
been under treatment at St. Anne's for five years, and had 
taken large quantities of bromides without benefit. 

Two months of suggestive treatment completely altered 

:;: Revue de V Hypnotisme, October, 1890. 


all these symptoms. The nightmare and grinding of the 
teeth disappeared, she lost the stupid and indolent aspect 
she wore before the treatment, and became bright and 
intelligent -looking. At the same time the vitiligo dis- 
appeared by degrees. The cure had continued up to the 
time of the report (five months). 

3. J. S , a youth of eighteen, of neurotic constitution 

and family, had suffered from choreiform movements in his 
limbs, and especially his arms, since infancy. When six 
years of age he had been bitten by a dog, and from that 
time he had been subject to attacks of petit mat during 
the day and of major epilepsy at night. During the latter 
he used to bite his tongue and lose consciousness. He 
looked idiotic when he first appeared, and his face was 
pale and bloated. His disposition was mischievous, dis- 
obedient, and brutal. 

He was put under hypnotic treatment, and was hypno- 
tized once a week for several months. The treatment 
produced a speedy improvement in all the symptoms ; the 
attacks ceased both by day and night, and, pari passu, his 
character altered for the better. His intelligence awakened, 
and he became able to go about alone, and to occupy 
himself with employments which were formerly quite 
beyond him. The treatment being discontinued for a 
month led to a return of nocturnal attacks, but a renewal 
of the suggestions again caused these to disappear. 

4. Mademoiselle P , aged twelve, came under treat- 
ment exhibiting spasm of the eyelids. Her disposition was 
extremely perverse and unmanageable. In the month of 
May she had crises every four or five days, during which 
she lost consciousness and passed water involuntarily. 
After the attacks she used to remain completely blind and 
deaf for a considerable time. The child, from being bright 
and intelligent, had become dull and apathetic, and had 
been obliged to leave the school where she had formerly 
been a promising scholar. The case had been seen by 
many doctors, who had diagnosed epilepsy, and had pre- 
scribed bromides. 


A few sittings sufficed to bring about a cessation of the 
attacks and a return to the previous mental condition. 
Dr. Berillon, in view of the very rapid recovery, is inclined 
to consider this a case of hystero-epilepsy. 

Case 30. — Intermittent Fever, cured by Suggestion. 

A young man, a hystero-epileptic, came under treatment 
at the clinique at Amsterdam suffering from quartan ague. 
He was treated for six weeks by quinine and arsenic, but 
without benefit, and then begged to be hypnotized. 

He was hypnotized during the apyrexia, and at once 
became somnambulic. But the attack came on as usual, 
though suggestions were made at four sittings. He was 
then told to come again for treatment a quarter of an hour 
before the access of the cold stage, which generally lasted 
about an hour. He was hypnotized, and suggestions were 
made for the space of an hour against the occurrence of 
the symptoms. They were successful, and the usual time 
for the attack was passed. The patient was left sleeping, 
but the doctors began to attend to their other patients. 
Left alone, the patient soon began to shiver, and the algide 
stage made its appearance with blueness of the nails, 
shivering, and restlessness. The quieting suggestions 
were recommenced, and were continued for half an hour 
with energy and perseverance. Gradually the symptoms 
disappeared, and the attack was aborted. From that time 
there was no return of the fever. 

(This success encouraged the writers to undertake the 
treatment of a lady suffering from obstinate remittent 
fever of South American origin. The patient was only 
slightly influenced-, and the suggestions did not exert any 
effect on the course of the disease.) 

Case 31. — Syphilitic Retinitis and Optic Neuritis. 

Emile X , clerk, contracted syphilis in 1875. He 

was treated in the ordinary way, and apparently cured. 
In 1879 he experienced some impairment of sight, which 
was rectified by the use of convex glasses. In 1881 


cutaneous eruptions made their appearance, but his sight 
continued good for two years longer. Towards the end 
of 18S3 he began to find it difficult to read small print, 
and to be troubled by sparks and flashes of light before 
the eyes. From this time his sight rapidly deteriorated, 
in spite of treatment by mercurials, iodides, strychnia, 
electricity, etc., at the hands of Professor Fuchs, of Vienna, 
Professor Huel, of Liege, and other well-known oculists. 

In December, 1885, he was unable to see how many 
fingers were held up at a greater distance than 30 cm. 
with the left eye, and was unable to count them at any 
distance with the right eye. 

In the left fundus there was a central scotoma, and the 
right eye had lost the inner half of its field of vision. 

The right eye, which afterwards became the better of 
the two, appeared to be atrophic, its arteries were con- 
tracted to half their proper size, and the veins were also 
diminished in calibre. 

Dr. Delbceuf recognised this case as one in which 
crucial experiments might be made in gauging the action 
of hypnotic suggestion, and in January, 1887, he began to 
hypnotize the patient, Professor Nuel and Dr. Leplat 
assisting him and conducting the examinations and tests. 

The treatment lasted from January 17 to July 6, il 
During this period the patient was hypnotized forty-six 
times, and each sitting occupied from one to two hours. 
There was very marked improvement at the end of the 
treatment, and it is evident that hypnotic suggestion was 

the curative agent. Emile X could count the fingers 

at a distance of 3 metres with the right eye, and at 
1 metre with his left. He was not able to read, but 
could take notes, see the time on his watch, distinguish 
colours, and walk without being led. He had lost his 
strabismus, and could see both eyes when he looked in 
the glass, showing that his sight can become central. 
The improvement has been maintained up to the present 
time, though the treatment has not been resumed. 

The suggestions were made by Dr. Delboeuf, and were 



always directed towards a definite object. For instance, 
if the patient could count the fingers at I metre before 
sleep, he was told during sleep to count them at i*6o. 
On awaking, he would probably be able to count them at 
i'30, and this gain would be maintained until the next 
sitting, when the distance would again be increased. 

At other sittings the experiments were confined to 
attempting to affect the visual field. In one sitting, for 
instance, its supero-temporal diameter was extended from 
75*20° to go'io . In three days it had fallen back to 
85*20°, but suggestion brought it to 90*5°. 

In addition to being almost blind, the patient, when he 
came under treatment, was affected with great mental 
depression and haunted by continual thoughts of suicide. 
He was also an excessive smoker. Two or three sug- 
gestions entirely removed this mental condition, and also 
completely corrected his desire for tobacco. 

Case 32. — Epilepsy .* 

The following case had been under my care as an out- 
patient since March, 1888. She had been a regular 
attendant, and although there was considerable improve- 
ment under the continuous exhibition of bromides, the 
case became stationary, and no further progress was 
noted. Indeed, the mental condition began to excite 
alarm in the minds of her relatives, as she became 
morose, irritable, would sit in a corner for hours, and for 
a long time past had given up all interest in domestic 

October 2, 1890. — E. K , aged twenty, a tailoress, 

had epileptic fits since childhood. No other member of the 
family is the subject of fits ; there is no history of insanity 
or other neurosis. The fits generally occur about the 
monthly periods, and are often exceedingly severe. 

This morning her mother brought her as usual, and I 
suggested that hypnotism might be of use in improving 

* Contributed by Dr. Outterson Wood. 


her mental condition. I then hypnotized her to the 
second degree, and told her mother to bring her again in 
a day or two. 

October 7. — Her mother brought her to-day, stating she 
had been suffering excruciating pain from neuralgia in the 
right side of her face, so much so that they had had 
no sleep with her for two nights. I again hypnotized her, 
suggested freedom from pain, and on awakening the pain 
had entirely gone. She never had another symptom of 
neuralgia until February 14, 1891, when she had a slight 
attack in the left side of the face which at once yielded to 
hypnosis and suggestion. 

From this time to May I hypnotized her regularly 
at intervals of a week, suggesting improvement in her 
health, that she would become stronger, brighter, more 
cheerful, and would occupy herself in household duties. 

Her mother now states that she has steadily improved 
in her mental condition since she has been hypnotized ; 
that she soon began to do work about the house, a thing 
she had not done for years before ; that, instead of being 
a source of care and anxiety on account of her irritability 
and violence, which led to direct assaults upon those 
around her, she is now cheerful, singing about the house 
and taking her share of the work. Her fits are less 
frequent, decidedly less violent, and she is able to go to 
dances and enjoy herself. 

Case 33. — Acute Mania with Exacerbations during the Period. 
Prolonged Hypnosis. Cure. 

The following case is one of several similar ones reported 
by Voisin, and illustrates treatment by prolonged hypnosis. 

A girl aged twenty was admitted into Dr. Voisin's ward 
of the Salpetriere in 1896. She was subject to attacks of 
violent rage, during which she rolled on the ground, tore up 
her clothes, and refused to do any work. These attacks 
were especially violent at the period, when it was necessary 
to confine her in a strait-waistcoat. During that time she 
incessantly used outrageous and obscene language. 

19 — 2 


Voisin hypnotized her at the beginning of a period, and 
she proved somnambulic. He suggested that she should 
sleep for six or seven days, during which time she should 
lie quietly in her bed, and rise from it only to satisfy the 
requirements of nature and to eat what was given to her. 

The suggestions were realized, and the girl remained 
perfectly quiet. She was awakened when the period 
ceased, and was much more self-controlled the next two 
weeks. Before the next following five periods Dr. Voisin 
again hypnotized her and repeated the same suggestions, 
and she was then discharged cured.* 

* * * * * 

I propose here to record a few cases from my own 
practice which will perhaps prove interesting. 

Case i. — Insomnia.i 

A. T , aged thirty-five, electrician, came to me on 

February i complaining of sleeplessness. It seemed to 
date from a severe accident from the explosion of a torpedo 
three years before. He is a man of exceptional mental 
activity, and the want of sleep had induced much nervous 
depression and dyspepsia. At whatever time he went to 
bed he awoke at 3 a.m., and was unable to sleep again. He 
was readily hypnotized, and a slightly lethargic condition 
was induced. Suggestions were made that he would sleep 
well that night and would not awake at 3 a.m., but that if 
he did awake he would be able to sleep again. February 2, 
he reported that he had awoke the previous night at 
the usual hour, but had soon dropped off asleep again. 
The treatment was repeated. February 3, he had been 
awakened the previous night by a noise in the street about 
4 a.m., but had fallen asleep again ; on the 5th he reported 
having had two good nights. One repetition of the treat- 
ment completed the course, and since that time he has 
remained a good sleeper, getting an average of eight 

* Op. tit., p. 16. 

t This case and several of those following were published in the 
Laticst, August 24, 1889. 


hours' sleep every night. His general health has improved 
to a corresponding extent. 

This case presents several points of interest. Though 
the patient was only affected to a slight degree by hypno- 
tism, suggestion was successful in breaking a morbid habit 

of three years' growth in less than a week. Mr. T 

tells me he never lies down during the day, and that while 
lying down in my consulting-room he was completely 
conscious, but felt comfortable and disinclined to move. 
He was able to open his eyes, but they felt somewhat 
heavy, and he experienced reflex warmth in any part 
where I placed my hand and ' suggested ' it. 

Case 2. — Neurasthenia. 

R. H , an American, aged forty-three, press agent, 

consulted me in June, 1889, for pains in the back, depres- 
sion of spirits, languor, loss of appetite, constipation, 
muscular weakness, dull pain all over the head, but worse 
in the forehead and on stooping. He had worked very 
hard all his life at newspaper editing, and he looked at 
least ten years older than his age. Physical examination 
revealed no organic disease, but the heart's action was 
rapid and feeble, and he had some tenderness over the 
dorsal region of the spine. 

He was easily hypnotized, and fell into the second 
stage. The treatment consisted in rubbing his spine, 
loins and abdomen, and suggesting increase of strength, 
absence of pain, and regular action of the bowels every 
morning. The patient improved rapidly under treat- 
ment, and was able to return to America after twenty 
operations, quite set up and in good spirits. 

This seems to me a typical case of breakdown in an 
overworked man of nervous temperament. I allowed him 
to remain in the hypnotic state an hour daily, and no 
doubt the rest was an important factor in the cure. He 
was unable to open the eyes, but could raise or depress 
the arms at will. ' 

1 Two years afterwards ('July, 1891) this patient again came under 
treaiment for influenza. He had continued perfectly well, and able to 


Case 3. — Writer's Cramp. 

Alice N , clerk, aged twenty-five, came under treat- 
ment in March, 1889. She had had much writing to do, 
and for three years had felt symptoms of loss of power in 
the right hand and want of control over the pen. She had 
been treated at a general hospital by galvanism for three 
months without benefit, and had become so much worse 
that she had been obliged to leave the desk and engage in 
other occupations. She was also unable to use the needle 
for any length of time on account of cramp supervening. 
After writing two or three lines, she experienced crampy 
pains in the thumb and forefinger and in the flexor muscles 
of the forearm. After a few lines, spasmodic jerking of 
the thumb was observed, and this increased — together 
with the pains — to such an extent that in less than a 
minute the patient declared her inability to hold the pen 
any longer. There was marked tenderness and soreness on 
pressure over the median and musculo-spiral nerves. She 
was hypnotized, and fell into the third stage. In that 
condition the muscles were rubbed, the joints exercised, 
and suggestions of improvement made. 

After a few minutes' rest the patient was directed to 
again write, and she found the fatigue and cramp had 
disappeared and did not return until she had written half 
a page. She came regularly for treatment three times a 
week for two months, and at the end of that time was able 
to return to her original post quite cured. 

She was a good example of the second or cataleptic 
stage (Liebeault), which she never passed beyond. She 
lay apparently fast asleep, was unable to open the eyes, 
and retained the arm rigid in any position I placed it. 
But she remained vividly conscious, and was able to 
repeat the conversation going on around her, and would 
laugh, protest and struggle when told she was unable to 
move the arm. This is one of five cases of occupation 

work ever since the treatment. He made an unusually rapid recovery 
from the influenza under ordinary treatment aided by hypnotism. 


neuroses which I have treated by suggestion. One case 
was not susceptible to hypnotism, but all the others 
improved rapidly, and were cured. I should certainly 
always combine it in these cases with local massage, 
though I believe at Nancy they use no treatment but 
verbal suggestion. 

Case 4. — Tabes Dorsalis.* 

H. F , aged forty-seven, a valet, came under treat- 
ment in March. He was pale, anaemic and emaciated, and 
had an expression and appearance of great depression. His 
family history was good. He had never drunk to excess 
or had syphilis, and was married and had a healthy 
family. In 1870 he was a soldier in the German arm)', 
and was wounded severely in the leg, but made a good 
recovery. In 1884 he had an attack of what he calls 
blood-poisoning, but what appears to have been typhoid 
fever, on the Continent, and he has never been really 
well since. In 1888 he noticed some failure of sight, and 
at the same time a numbness of parts of the skin of the 
back and chest became apparent. His bowels became 
constipated and only moved by the aid of purgatives, 
which, however, caused so much colicky pain that the 
action was always accompanied by vomiting and followed 
by prostration, which kept him confined to bed for the 
following twenty-four hours. He suffered from frequent 
sharp ' lightning ' pains down the arms, and especially 
the legs, and from neuralgia in the chest and back. 
His tongue was dry and coated; he had no appetite, 
and there was great mental depression. In twelve 
months he had lost 2 stone in weight, was unable 
to walk more than half a mile, and always felt tired. 
The pupils were contracted and almost insensible to 
light, and there was almost complete atrophy of the 
right optic nerve, with partial atrophy of the left. The 
reflexes were absent, but there was nothing ataxic in his 

* This case is published in the ' Comptes Rendus' of the first Inter- 
national Congress on Hypnotism. 


gait. Extensive patches of local anaesthesia occupied 
almost the whole of the left chest and back, and also the 
skin of the upper lip and nose. He was hypnotized, and 
fell into the third stage. 

Suggestions were made as to regular and painless action 
of the bowels, absence of pain, etc. The next day he had 
a slight motion (the first natural one for three months) 
without much pain, and felt better generally. Improve- 
ment was steady and constant, and in two weeks he was 
able to walk two or three miles without fatigue, was free 
from pain and discomfort, and the bowels were regular. 

With the exception of a slight relapse, following a bad 
chill in June, he has continued fairly well and comfortable. 
The disease no doubt progresses, but it does so slowly and 
painlessly. On finding such great success followed sugges- 
tions, I was induced to try if they had any influence on 
his sight, and one morning suggested increased warmth 
and circulation, followed by improved vision, keeping 
my fingers over the eyes for three or four minutes. The 
effect was somewhat surprising, for the following day he 
was able to read ordinary print at a distance of 6 inches 
with his left eye, and to distinguish the hands of the clock 
at 2 feet with his right — a wonderful improvement on 
his performance the previous day, when he could barely 
make out large type (D = 4) with the left eye, and could 
not distinguish the nature of any object with the right. 
But the improvement was only temporary, and in spite of 
repeated suggestions his sight had relapsed to nearly its 
former condition within a week. He told me a somewhat 
similar result followed some months previously the ad- 
ministration of strong doses of strychnine by hypodermic 
injection. Still, he invariably saw more clearly and 
distinctly after being hypnotized than before, and whereas 
his sight was steadily deteriorating previous to this treat- 
ment, it afterwards remained stationary for years.* 

* This incident throws some light on cases of ' miraculous : recovery 
of sight which one reads about as occurring at Salvation Army gather- 
ings, etc. In purely hysterical cases no doubt permanent cure is some- 
times brought about by suggestion, aided by expectant attention, when 


Probably the explanation of the sudden improvement is 
that suggestion had powerfully stimulated the healthy 
nerve elements to abnormal activity, which, however, 
could not be maintained. I may add that suggestion did 
little or nothing for the local anaesthesia, but that 
symptom was greatly modified by a course of suspension 
under Dr. de Watteville. 

This patient was conscious of what went on around 
him, and by an effort of attention could follow the con- 
versation and repeat its purport, but voices sounded in- 
distinct and far off, and he felt very disinclined for exertion. 
It is the stage of automatic continuative movement, as 
shown by a simple experiment. If I gave his arms or 
hands a few turns and told him to go on with the move- 
ment, he was unable to stop it, but continued the action 
indefinitely. He answered questions addressed to him, 
not only by me, but by bystanders, and he awoke spon- 
taneously in about fifteen minutes. If told to awake at 
the end of a certain number of minutes, he used to do 
so almost to a second. 

Case 5. — Torticollis, etc. 

W. T , aged thirty-four, consulted me in March for 

rheumatism of the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and 
back. She was a rheumatic subject, and the present ill- 
ness dated from two weeks previous, when she had been 
exposed to wet and cold. She had been unable since 
that time to dress or undress herself, and the least move- 
ment of the head or upper extremities caused pain. The 
muscles were tender to the touch, but there was no swell- 
ing or constitutional disturbance. She was advised to 
try hypnotism, and with some reluctance, as she said 
she did not believe in it, she consented. In less than a 
minute she slept profoundly, and while in the sleep the 

the nervous system is thrown off its balance by enthusiasm and by the 
impressiveness of the surroundings — is, in fact, in a condition analogous 
to hypnosis. One knows that many of such cases relapse in a very 
short time when the effect of excessive nervous stimulation subsides. 


affected muscles were well rubbed, and the head turned 
in different directions. Within five minutes she was 
awakened and told to move her head and arms freely. 
This she did without pain, but said there was some stiff- 
ness remaining. The stiffness continued until the follow- 
ing morning, when it disappeared and did not return. 
Faith had nothing to do with this result, for even after 
the relief was given the patient refused to believe it could 
be anything but temporary. 

This patient appeared entirely unconscious of the con- 
versation going on around her, and of external impressions 
generally, except such as were rendered apparent to her 
by my suggestions. She was insensible to pain, as shown 
by her perfect tranquillity when I moved her head, a move- 
ment she had previously been unable to endure. Her eye- 
balls were turned up, and the conjunctivae were nearly 
insensible to touch, but the pupils readily contracted to 
light. She took no notice of any sound except my voice, 
and did not appear to hear if anyone else addressed her 
unless I told her to answer. Her pulse and respiration 
were slightly slower than in the waking state, and her 
aspect generally resembled that of profound natural sleep. 
The knee-jerk was increased by paresis of the inhibitory 
centre, until I told her to control it, and then it became 
less than normal.* 

She was not susceptible to post-hypnotic suggestions 
regarding actions or conduct, nor to suggested hallucina- 
tions or delusions of the senses. 

Case 6. — Headache following Injury. 

E. H , post-office clerk, aged thirty-two, came under 

treatment in July. She had been knocked down by a 
bicycle three weeks previously, and had fallen with her 
head against the curbstone. Her back also had been 
strained, and she had pain in raising the left arm. 

She was anaemic, and of neuropathic constitution. 

* Dr. Myers tells me he has seen the knee-jerk apparently sup- 
pressed by suggestion in Bernheim's clinique. 


Pressure on the occipital and right parietal region in- 
creased the pain, which, however, had never left her since 
the accident. She had been stunned, but not rendered 
actually unconscious. She was one of the most sus- 
ceptible subjects I have ever seen, and within half a 
minute of being told to look at my fingers and go to sleep, 
her eyes closed, and she fell into a stage of profound som- 
nambulism (sixth stage). Her head was gently, and the 
shoulders somewhat more vigorously, rubbed, and sug- 
gestions were made tending to the removal of pain and 
shock. In ten minutes she was awakened by being told 
to count up to twenty and awake when she got to the end 
— a good method, as it avoids giving a sudden shock, and 
leads up to the change of state gradually. She left the 
house absolutely free from pain, and there has been no 
relapse. In a profound somnambulist of this type the 
most advanced phenomena of hypnotism are demonstrable. 
She is in the same condition, apparently, as case No. 5, 
but differs from her in being susceptible to post-hypnotic 
suggestions — negative hallucination, delusions of the 
senses, automatic actions, etc. It is important, therefore, 
to safeguard such a subject by telling her she is not to be 
hypnotized except for medical purposes, by a medical man, 
at her own request. 

Case 7. — Chronic Diarrhea. 

General B -, aged seventy-two, came under hypnotic 

treatment on April 3. He had previously been attended 
by me for chronic diarrhoea, but without much effect, and 
the malady was generally considered quite incurable. It 
dated from the time of the Crimean War, and since then 
he had never passed less than four motions a day, and 
these were always thin and watery. Any excitement or 
emotion aggravated the condition, and the day previous 
to my visit he had been moved twelve times. He is a 
man of exceedingly nervous type, but enjoys fairly good 
general health for his age. Hypnotism produced very 
much the same effect on him as on the patient in Case 1 


— a slight lethargy. In this state his abdomen was gently 
rubbed, and the suggestion made that he should in future 
have but two motions a day, and that they should be 
properly formed. On April 4 the patient reported three 
motions during the last twenty-four hours. He was again 
hypnotized, and the same suggestions were repeated. On 
the morning of April 5 he passed the first formed motion 
he had had for over twenty years, and from that time his 
bowels continued to act regularly twice a day and the 
stools were well formed and natural. 

Case 8. — Paroxysmal Sneezing. 

F. H , thirty-eight, lady's-maid, suffered during the 

summer of 1888 from hay-fever, and the fits of sneezing 
continued into the autumn, so that when I saw her on 
October 4 she told me that every morning on awaking 
she was seized with a paroxysm, which lasted about an 
hour, during which time she sneezed about forty times, 
and discharged copiously from the eyes. In addition to 
this, for a few days she had suffered from pain after eating, 
flatulence, and constipation. She was hypnotized, and at 
once fell into a profound sleep (Liebeault's sixth stage). 
Her nose was rubbed, and the suggestion made that she 
should sneeze no more. The stomach was also rubbed, 
and the suggestion made for the regulation of the digestive 
functions. There was no need to repeat the operation, 
for the paroxysmal sneezing ceased forthwith, and the 
digestion became easy and painless. There has been no 

Case 9. — Chronic Constipation. 

Mr. H , aged thirty-nine, solicitor, of lymphatic 

temperament, consulted me in May, 1889, for constipa- 
tion. He had led a very sedentary life, and was in the 
habit of taking a good deal of opening medicine. His 
appetite was capricious and his tongue furred. He was 
hypnotized, and rapidly fell into the third stage. The 
abdomen was well rubbed, and a regular motion suggested 
daily after breakfast. The treatment was almost im- 


mediately beneficial, and six operations sufficed to establish 
a regular after-breakfast habit of relief. 

Case 10. — Supra-orbital Neuralgia. 

R. H , a stockbroker's clerk, aged twenty-one, came 

to me in Jul) - suffering from neuralgia of ten days' dura- 
tion. The pain came on in paroxysms which were worse 
at night, and it was chiefly felt over the right eye, where 
there was extreme tenderness. But the pain radiated over 
the anterior part of the head, and sometimes affected the 
eyes. He was out of health generally and very depressed. 
He fell into the second degree of hypnosis, and the treat- 
ment consisted in rubbing and suggestions. He was 
allowed to remain in a drowsy state for half an hour, 
and was then aroused. He said he felt much better, and 
he passed a fairly good night. Three operations effected 
a complete cure. It was his first attack of the kind. 

Case ii. — Spinal Irritation. 

Mrs. F , aged thirty-seven, came under treatment in 

April, 1889. She had suffered since the birth of her first 
child, ten years before, from pain and discomfort in the 
spine, referred especially to the lumbar region. She was 
unable to walk without great fatigue, and standing was 
a misery to her. She was anaemic, of constipated habit, 
and with general depression of vitality. Manipulation 
down the spine caused pain, and there was frequently 
numbness of the extremities with twitchings. Her mental 
condition was one of depression and great nervous irrita- 
bility. She was susceptible to the third degree, and began 
to improve under suggestion almost immediately. The 
case, being of very chronic nature, required a longer 
attendance than usual, and she occasionally came up for 
a repetition of the treatment. She greatly improved in 
appearance, the irritability of temper subsided, and she 
was able to walk two or three miles, and stand about in 
picture-galleries and exhibitions, as well as most ladies, 
without undue fatigue. 


Case 12. — Functional Heart Trouble. 

H. L , twenty-three, consulted me in November, 

18S8, complaining of palpitation on exertion and on lying 
down at night, shortness of breath, giddiness and frequent 
attacks of fainting coming on without any warning. 
Examination of the heart revealed no organic disease, and 
all the organs seemed healthy. She had suffered a good 
deal of anxiety of late, and this was apparently the cause 
of her illness. She was treated on general principles with 
iron, mix vomica, digitalis, etc., but she made little or no 
progress, so in January, 1889, I suggested hypnotism and 
soon induced the third degree. She began to improve 
almost at once under suggestions, directed to the over- 
action of the heart, and after ten operations, spread over 
a period of three weeks, was relieved of all her symptoms. 

Case 13. — Symptoms dependent on Mitral Disease. 

Miss H , aged thirty-two has been under my treat- 
ment on and off for several years, and after a long spell of 
literary work and late hours she consulted me in March, 
1889, complaining of palpitation, frontal headache, loss of 
appetite, nausea, constipation, debility, swelled feet and 
legs, and especially of attacks of faintness coming on with- 
out apparent cause. She has mitral regurgitation conse- 
quent on rheumatic fever ten years ago, and her pulse 
was very weak and rapid (104). She was hypnotized 
and fell into profound somnambulism. Reduction in the 
rapidity of the heart's action with increase of force was 
suggested, and the pulse after a few minutes became 
reduced to 87, and of firmer character. Suggestions were 
made coresponding to all her symptoms, and she was 
allowed to rest for nearly an hour. On awaking she at 
once said she felt much better. The nausea which had 
troubled her incessantly for several months had disap- 
peared, and she felt no discomfort from her heart. On 
going home she slept well that night, and the improve- 
ment was maintained the next day. The following day 


she came to me complaining of a fresh attack of palpita- 
tion, and she was again hypnotized, with the same result 
as before. The operation was repeated three times, with 
an interval between each visit of three days, and she was 
then quite free from pain and discomfort. During the 
hypnotic treatment I purposely refrained from giving 
medicine, but afterwards I prescribed strophanthus for the 
swelling of the feet, which had not improved much under 
suggestion. This medicine almost completely removed 
that symptom in a couple of weeks. She had no more 
attacks of syncope after the first operation. 

Case 14. — Nocturnal Enuresis. 

Thomas L , aged thirteen, was brought to me in 

June, 1889, for this trouble. His parents had never 
succeeded in breaking him of the habit, though they had 
tried many different modes of treatment. He was fairly 
well-nourished, intelligent, and of nervous temperament, 
He had no organic lesion of any kind, and the malady 
evidently depended on functional weakness and bad habit. 
He was hypnotized daily for six days and then once a week 
for six weeks, and he always fell into a profound sleep. He 
wetted the bed once the first and once the third week, while 
previously he had rarely gone more than two consecutive 
nights without doing so. After that there was no return of 
the trouble, but he wakes up every night about twelve and 
empties his bladder quite automatically. The boy's future 
was in danger of being compromised, as his parents were 
unable to get him into any public school. He went to a 
large school afterwards and did well. I told him he was 
to always wake at twelve and leave the bed, and the 
suggestion acted excellently well. 

Case 15. — Gouty Sciatica. 

Mr. S. R , a gentleman aged eighty-one, had been 

for many years a patient of mine, and was subject to attacks 
of gout, which showed itself in various ways. On this 
occasion (July) it took the form of sciatica of the right 


side. There was extreme tenderness along the whole 
course of the sciatic nerve, and the pain was very severe. 
The treatment I had previously adopted — colchicum 
internally and poppy-head fomentations externally — was 
practised, but he continued to suffer much and to be 
unable to sleep, so on the third day I proposed hypnotism, 
to which he gave a ready assent. In a few minutes — 
using verbal suggestion and fixation of the eyes — he went 
off into a light doze, and in that condition his thigh was 
well rubbed and absence of pain suggested. The old 
gentleman remained in a somnolent state for about ten 
minutes, and awoke feeling somewhat relieved. He slept 
well that night, and the operation was repeated daily for 
three days, with the result that he was able to leave his 
bed within a week, whereas previously he had always 
been confined to it for three weeks by similar attacks. 
He was an extremely nervous and sensitive subject. 

Case 16. — Chronic Rheumatism with Wasting of Muscles. 

Mary T , aged thirty-four, dressmaker, was sent to 

me in July, 1889, suffering from very intractable 
rheumatism of the right shoulder and elbow. It had 
lasted for three years and caused great pain on moving 
the arm. The illness had come on gradually and had 
resisted all treatment. The patient was somewhat anaemic, 
complained of constipation, and was kept awake at night 
by the pain. The deltoid and muscles of the arm were 
a good deal wasted, but gave a normal reaction to 

She at once fell into the third stage of hypnosis, and in 
this state her shoulder and elbow were rubbed and warmth 
and absence of pain suggested. She was able on being 
aroused to move her arm almost to a right angle with her 
body without pain, which she had not previously been able 
to accomplish. She remained under treatment for three 
weeks, and at the end of that time returned to the country 
absolutely free of pain and able to move the arm freely in 
any direction. 


Case 17. — Nervous Dyspepsia. 

Miss L , aged thirty-two, consulted me in February, 

1889. She had suffered more or less all her life from in- 
digestion. She was very thin, and her complexion was 
yellow and spotted with papules of acne. She complained 
of constant pain over the epigastrium, which was tender 
on pressure, increased by food, and accompanied with 
'sinking,' heartburn, and palpitation. Her circulation 
was deficient, and she had always cold hands and feet ; 
there was frequent headache and neuralgia, generally in 
the frontal region. She slept badly at night, and was 
troubled with uncomfortable dreams. She felt languid 
and despondent, and had no aptitude for setting to any 
occupation. Her condition was becoming worse, and she 
had been under all sorts of medical treatment for her 
digestion since childhood. Her teeth were sufficiently 
good for mastication, the bowels were constipated, and 
the tongue was moist but furred. There were no 
symptoms pointing to disease of any organ, and it was 
evident the malady was purely functional. 

She was hypnotized, and the second degree of hypnosis 
was induced. In this condition the stomach and abdomen 
were rubbed and warmth suggested. Comfortable sleep 
and improved appetite were promised, together with 
regular action of the bowels, and general increase of 
strength and energy. The patient was on very rigorous 
diet, and this was somewhat modified and enlarged. Im- 
provement in her condition became visible after two or 
three days, and the treatment was repeated daily for ten 
days, and then at longer intervals for a month. At the 
end of that time she was better than she had ever been 
previously. She slept well, ate with fair appetite, and 
enjoyed life. The improvement has been maintained, and 
the morbid condition seems permanently cured. 

Case 18. — Amenorrhea. 

E. S , aged twenty-four, consulted me for various 

symptoms dependent on amenorrhcea in May, 1889. She 



was pale, somewhat anaemic, ate and slept fairly well, but 
suffered from nearly constant frontal headache. She had 
seen nothing for five months, and thought the cause of 
this was a chill incurred at the time of the last period. 
She had taken iron and quinine and used hot baths with- 
out effect. She was hypnotized, and at once fell into a 
profound state of somnambulism. I rubbed the abdomen, 
and suggested that the period should come on the follow- 
ing week, without pain, and should last three days. These 
suggestions were repeated daily, with the addition that 
the day of the week (Friday) was suggested after the 
second visit. Early on the following Saturday morning 
the function was re-established, and lasted three days. 

Case 19. — Functional Dysmenorrhea. 

A. T , aged twenty-one, clerk, came under treatment 

on October 10, 1888. She suffered much from painful 
menstruation, and has done so since the function became 
established four years previously. The period was always 
delayed three or four days, and was scanty and light- 
coloured. It lasted about three days, and was attended 
with excessive backache, languor, and frontal headache. 
She suffered also from gastralgia, constipation, and flatu- 
lence. After treating her for some time on general 
principles, she was hypnotized on March 15, immediately 
after a period, and at once fell into a profound sleep 
(Liebeault's sixth stage). Suggestions directed to the 
painless performance of the digestive and menstrual 
functions were made, and were repeated two or three 
times a week for four weeks. The following period 
appeared on the twenty-ninth day, and was attended by 
but little pain or inconvenience. She was told to return 
in three weeks, and suggestions were then made regarding 
the next period. This came on twenty-seven days after 
the last, and continued for four days. It was more 
abundant and healthy, and perfectly free from pain. 
Since that time she has continued regular, and there has 
been no dysmenorrhcea. The digestion soon became 


painless and natural, and the general health shows great 

Case 20. — Post-Parturition Troubles. 

F. Y , aged forty-three, was confined of her fifth 

child in January, 1889. She was anaemic, and had 
suffered during her pregnancy from severe colicky 
pains, constipation, haemorrhoids and occipital head- 
ache. Delivery was tedious, and there was much 
haemorrhage from the relaxed and insufficiently con- 
tracted uterus ; and the placenta had to be removed, 
as it remained adherent. The patient complained greatly 
of headache and restlessness after the confinement ; the 
uterus contracted but slowly, and there was also much 
pain, in spite of hot douches and ergot. She was hypno- 
tized by being told simply to look at my outstretched 
fingers and go to sleep. In a few minutes the eyelids 
began to twitch, and on closing the eyes she sank into 
a comfortable sleep, which lasted for four hours. She 
awoke much refreshed, and without headache. The 
operation was repeated daily for four days, and she made 
an unusually good recovery. 

Case 21. — Dipsomania. 

L. G , a gentleman of position, who was intensely 

anxious to be cured, was under my care during the month 
of January, 1889. His case was a bad one, and for three 
years had been getting worse. Uncontrollable fits of 
craving for spirits recurred every two or three weeks, and 
indulgence for three or four days was followed by intense 
nervous depression. He was hypnotized twice daily, and, 
like most of these patients, he proved a very susceptible 
subject. Suggestions were always made that he should 
look upon spirits and intoxicating liquors generally with 
dislike, and that he should have no craving or wish for 
them. Under this treatment his appetite soon became 
very good ; he slept well at night, and recovered his spirits. 
In four weeks he was able to return to his family, and he 

20 — 2 


writes at intervals, telling me that, in spite of some excep- 
tional temptation, he has no inclination to taste alcohol 
or break his promise to me. 

Case 22. — Moral Breakdown. 

T. L , aged twenty-one, engineer, was sent to me 

for treatment by suggestion by a medical friend, as all 
ordinary treatment, medical and surgical, had failed. 
Since early adolescence he had practised private vices, 
which had reduced him to a deplorable state of mental 
and physical weakness. He was easily hypnotized, and 
fell into the fourth stage of hypnosis. Suggestions were 
made directed to the reduction of morbid functional 
activity, and to increase of power of self-control. The 
patient, who thought himself on the verge of insanity, was 
a willing patient, and is now after five months a com- 
pletely altered man. He comes to me at gradually 
lengthening intervals, and in that way any danger of a 
relapse is obviated until the influence of the habit is 
absolutely eradicated. 

I was enabled to form a good estimate of the value of 
hypnotic treatment, as I was asked to try it on two 
brothers who were both terribly addicted to masturba- 
tion. The elder one, aged eighteen, proved unhypno- 
tizable after repeated efforts, and the younger, aged 
fourteen, became somnambulic almost at once. 

In the former case the patient has gone from bad to 
worse, and is now in a lunatic asylum with delusions of 
persecution. The latter is now four-and-twenty, and fills 
a responsible post in South Africa. He has had no relapse 
from the first day he was treated. 

Sexual Perversion. — If hypnotism had done nothing more 
for medical science than bring such melancholy cases as 
the above within the scope of curative treatment, it would 
have conferred a lasting benefit on humanity. In even 
worse cases of perverted sexual instinct it is frequently 
successful, and Dr. Von Schrenk - Notzing, of Munich, 


read before the International Congress notes on a case 
of this kind, treated by him with the happiest results. 
Modern medicine teaches us that these perverted instincts 
depend upon a hereditary or acquired morbid condition 
of the brain and spinal cord, and constitute, in fact, a 
psychical disease. Hypnotic suggestion seems to act by 
checking excessive functional irritability, and by developing 
and bringing into play the inhibitory action of the higher 
brain centres, which have either not developed or have 
undergone impairment. 

In consequence of the translation into English of Krafft- 
Ebing's classical work, ' Psychopathia Sexualis,' and his 
reference to hypnotism as the best, if not the only, method 
of bringing about the cure of these cases, I have been con- 
sulted in quite a number of them ; at least twenty in ten 
years. In one of them hypnotism was completely success- 
ful, and the patient is now happily married. In several of the 
others considerable improvement was effected, but, unfortu- 
nately, most of the patients were but indifferent subjects. 

In treating cases of sexual inversion the hypnosis should 
be very profound, for one has to alter by suggestion a set 
of very deeply ingrained instincts and emotions. 

Wetterstrand (op. cit., p. 50) reports having cured a 
case. The patient was a man of thirty-two, and he was 
cured in seventeen sittings. He became somnambulic at 
the first sitting.* 

It is absolutely necessary to gain the confidence of 
the patients in these cases, and they must be carefully 
watched, as they are notoriously given to deception. 
But their confidence can be gained by judicious manage- 
ment, and then one is saved from the danger of allowing 
' the wish to be father to the thought.' 

The two following cases possess considerable interest, 

* Doctors, lawyers and teachers who wish to investigate this rather 
unsavoury but very important subject will find it fully treated of in 
Krafft-Ebing's book, and in the recent work by Dr. Havelock Ellis, 
' Studies in the Psychology of Sex.' 


owing to the intellectual attainments of the patients, for 
they confirm the assertion that hypnotizability may be 
rather a sign of intellect than the reverse : 

Case 23. — Cure of the Tobacco Habit. 

Dr. X is a University professor of eminence, and 

he came to me in June, 1890, to try what hypnotic 
suggestion would do to cure him of smoking. He had 
been an inveterate smoker for twenty years, and had 
never succeeded in breaking himself of the habit, though 
he had made frequent attempts. He was highly nervous, 
and complained of sleeplessness, palpitation, mental 
irritability, and dyspepsia — all probably due to the very 
large quantity of tobacco he was consuming in the form 
of cigarettes. He was easily hypnotized, and fell into 
the second stage. I suggested that he would cease to 
care for tobacco, and that he would find himself able to 
break off the habit without difficulty. The operation was 
repeated daily for three days, and the patient then discon- 
tinued treatment. On making inquiries, I have received a 
letter from him from which the following is an extract : 

' The suggestion was immediate in its effect, so that I 
felt no craving for the weed, although I had been a 
habitual smoker for nearly twenty years. Of course I 
felt very uncomfortable, and my life was very much upset 
at first by my sudden change in habit ; nor did I experi- 
ence at once all the benefits that I expected from abstin- 
ence ; so that had I not been under influence I should 
certainly have relapsed (to my everlasting regret), as I 
had done whenever I relinquished the habit before being 
hypnotized. I begin to think that I must now be tobacco- 
proof, and have not smoked once since I saw you, and 
am in very much better health.' 

This was an admirable case to treat. The patient knew 
that tobacco was poison to him, and was full of good 
resolves about giving it up. The will only needed a 
strong reinforcement from outside, and this was supplied 
by suggestion in the hypnotic state. 


Case 24. — Neurasthenia. 

Mr. A , aged twenty-four, has taken a distinguished 

degree, and is a man of markedly neurotic and intellectual 
type. He came to me in 1890 suffering from nervousness, 
sleeplessness, restlessness, and other symptoms of over- 
work. He was hypnotized at once by fixation of the 
eyes for about a minute, followed by suggestions, and 
on his first visit fell into the second stage. He was 
unable to see me again for three weeks, but he told me 
that the effect of the one operation was very marked, and 
that for three days he felt a new man. Then the effect 
gradually wore off, and on the occasion of his second visit 
he was in much the same state as when I saw him first. 
He was more susceptible the second time, and in the 
course of the treatment he several times passed into the 
profounder states, with amnesia on waking. I saw him 
now ever)- alternate day for two weeks, and then once a 
week for a month. At the end of this course he reported 
himself as better than he had ever felt before in his life, 
and able to read the stiffest books for hours together with- 
out fatigue. He sleeps well and wakes refreshed and ready 
to get up, and is able to play tennis, row, etc., without 
being overtired. 

Case 25. — Chronic Alcoholism. 

Mr. X , aged thirty-four, came under treatment in 

January, 1891. He is a strong, thickset, muscular, and 
very plethoric man of highly nervous temperament. He 
had been a heavy drinker for about ten years, but through 
domestic and business worries had become much worse, 
and was in imminent danger of losing his employment 
and means of livelihood. He had had several attacks of 
an apoplectiform character, and drinking made him dull, 
heavy, and lethargic. His general health had suffered, 
but there was no organic disease. He proved one of the 
best subjects for hypnotism that I have yet found, for he 
at once fell into a state of profound trance. The opera- 
tion was repeated daily for three weeks, and he was then 


sent to the seaside for a fortnight preliminary to returning 
to his business. He went on well for ten days, but then 
received news from home of a distressing character. 
Worry of any kind had always driven him to liquor, and 
in spite of the recentness of the suggestions he again 
sought the usual solace. For two days he drank large 
quantities of beer — the worst form of alcohol for him — 
and he was then brought up to see me. I found him in 
a very restless, excitable state, with quick, bounding pulse 
and throbbing carotids. His face was of a dusky hue, 
and he complained of dull heavy pain in the head. On 
attempting to hypnotize him, I found that instead of 
falling into a sound quiet sleep he passed into a state 
resembling coma — from which it was difficult to arouse 
him. The man was evidently on the verge of apoplexy, 
and to relieve the congestion I at once applied three 
leeches behind the ears. They bit very freely, and the 
effect was very striking. In half an hour danger seemed 
past, and the next day he was almost himself. It looked 
as if ordinary suggestion alone had failed in this case, and 
that stronger treatment than usual was required. I there- 
fore began to suggest, not only disinclination for alcohol, 
but loathing for it. In the presence of my friend Dr. 
Arthur, I told him that liquor would act as an immediate 
emetic if he ventured to take it ; and to put the efficacy 
of the suggestion to the proof, I made him drink half a 
glass of beer a few minutes after he was awakened. He 
was quite unconscious of the nature of the suggestions I 
had made, but I found considerable difficulty in getting 
him to drink the beer, as he said his stomach seemed to 
turn against it. However, he drank it, and no sooner was 
it down than he turned to me and asked where he could 
go, as he felt extremely sick; in a few moments he brought 
up all the beer he had swallowed. I then again hypnotized 
him and told him that he now saw the effect of alcohol 
upon him, and that similar indulgence would always and 
at once lead to the same result. 

Mr. X remained under my observation until the 


end of March, when he returned to his home. His 
regular attendant continued the treatment for a few 
months very successfully, and hypnotized him once a 
fortnight. Small business worries no longer fretted him as 
they used to, and the ever-present domestic annoyances 
were also borne with equanimity. Though such a suscep- 
tible subject, I proved to demonstration that, so far from 
being rendered more liable to be hypnotized by the 
repeated operations he had undergone at my hands, he 
was, on the contrary, less subject to hypnotic influence 
than an ordinary person. For instance, I requested a 
medical friend of some experience to try to hypnotize 
him. Not only did the attempt fail, but the touch and 
voice of the experimenter assumed a stimulating and 
irritating character to the feeling of the patient, and 
rendered sleep, and even rest, out of the question. This 
was in response to hypnotic suggestions I had previously 
made, that he was not to allow anyone to hypnotize him 

but myself, and Dr. S (his family medical attendant), 

except at his written request. There was no particular 
personal element in this or similar cases which have come 
under my notice, though, of course, it is desirable that in 
psychical treatment there should be mutual confidence 
and esteem between patient and doctor. Association of 
ideas explains the causation of sickness on taking alcohol, 
just as it explains why raspberry jam will sometimes 
produce nausea in adults who, as children, have fre- 
quently been given powders in it. The train of ideas once 
started continues, though circumstances may have com- 
pletely changed, and the person may never be able to 
taste that particular preserve, or even to think of it, 
without experiencing nausea. In the face of such an 
explanation it seems to me quite wide of the mark to 
contend, as some do, that the effect of suggestion in these 
cases is purely personal, and that when the patient goes 
away the force of suggestion will become weaker, until 
it ceases any longer to operate as a deterrent. Such has 
not been my experience, and Dr. Liebeault tells me that 


he has records of cases of chronic drunkenness which he 
treated, and cured, over twenty years ago, which have 
remained cured. 

Total abstinence is not much practised in France, and 
Liebeault generally allows his alcoholic patients to drink 
light wine with their meals. A gentleman consulted me 
as to the benefit he was likely to derive from hypnotism 
in December, 1888 ; and as I found him a good subject — 
susceptible to the third degree — and he was going to 
France, I advised him to consult Dr. Liebeault. He 
was hypnotized at Nancy twenty times, told never to 
drink except with his meals, and then only light wine or 
beer. His wife was also instructed to hypnotize him and 
make the necessary suggestions once a week. I frequently 
see this patient and his friends, and though twelve years and 
a half have elapsed, he continues a moderate drinker ; i.e., 
he drinks a glass of beer or claret at lunch and dinner. 
He was a notorious drunkard, and for two years prior to 
the treatment had hardly ever been sober except under 
compulsion. Though this line of treatment has been so 
successful in that case, I do not think it is one to follow 
— at any rate, with Englishmen — and I consider that total 
abstinence is the only safe course for people who have 
given way to drink, whatever plan of treatment is 
employed. The deprivation of alcohol is no infliction 
to the hypnotic patient, and there is, therefore, no object 
in not enforcing it. 

Case 26. — Nervous Prostration. 

Mrs. E , aged forty-one, came under treatment in 

January, 1890. She had led an extremely unhappy life for 
years, on account of the misconduct of her husband, who 
was a drunkard and a rake. The source of her trouble had 
been some months removed by his death, and there was no 
actual cause to keep up her state of ill-health. But the 
impressions left by years of worry were not removed by 
simple cessation of the irritation, and Mrs. E con- 
tinued to suffer from sleeplessness, periodic headaches, 


constipation, loss of appetite, and intense mental depres- 
sion. She was hypnotized with great difficulty, and only 
after six attempts had failed. She never lost conscious- 
ness, but fell into Liebeault's third stage. The sugges- 
tions I made were directed to quieting the nervous 
apprehensions which assailed her, improving her appetite, 
and producing natural sleep at night. The suggestions 
acted perfectly, and the patient began at once to recover 
her strength and spirits. The mental depression gave 
place to a feeling of repose and relief, the headaches 
disappeared, and she became thoroughly well and strong 
in the course of two months. The improvement has been 
continued, and the nightmare of years has been thoroughly 
dissipated by suggestion. The improvement of mental 
health has been accompanied by at least equal im- 
provement in her physical condition ; she has gained 
weight, and lost the careworn expression which she 
formerly wore. Altogether she looks at least ten years 
younger than she did a year ago, and there has been no 

Case 27. — Extreme Anosmia treated by Hypnotic 

E. A , aged eighteen, shop assistant, has been under 

my observation for several years, during which time I have 
occasionally treated her for various slight complaints. 
Her father is a drunkard, and her mother is anaemic and 
neurotic. The girl never had any severe illness, and was 
always remarkably bright and lively until the beginning 
of 1890. Then she began to droop, complained of feeling 
constantly tired ; lost her fine healthy colour, and became 
sallow and pale ; the period, which had been regular for 
three years, became irregular and scanty, and the bowels 
were constipated ; she became short of breath on ex- 
ertion, and was unable to lie down in consequence of 
palpitation. She developed a haemic murmur at the base, 
and a souffle under the clavicles ; she ceased to have any 
appetite, and wished to live on a little tea and bread-and- 


butter. The case was thus a typical one of anaemia, and 
as such I treated it — first by a course of Blaud's pills 
alone, and, when that proved ineffectual, by rest and a 
month at the seaside. She returned, however, in April 
from the sea, little, if any, better for the change. The 
amenorrhoea had become established, and there had been 
no show for over three months. Under these circum- 
stances, I felt justified in advising hypnotism, and as 
the patient and her mother agreed, I hypnotized her on 
May i. She proved susceptible to the third degree, and I 
repeated the process three times a week for a month. 
The result was very striking, for the girl immediately began 
to improve. First she commenced to eat her food better, 
then her bowels became regular, next she lost the buzzing 
in the ears, and was enabled to lie down at night. Her 
pulse became slower and stronger, and the haemic 
murmurs became less audible ; and finally, in obedience 
to repeated suggestions, there was a slight catamenial 
show in the third week of May. From that time improve- 
ment was rapid, and the symptoms and signs of anaemia 
steadily disappeared. The patient resumed work in June, 
and has since continued rosy and well. This is one of a 
considerable number of cases of anaemia which I have 
treated by hypnotism, generally only after other measures 
have failed. One has only to try it in these cases to 
endorse Liebeault's contention, that hypnotic suggestion 
comes near being specific in the treatment of simple 
anaemia. Such patients are nearly always hypnotizable, 
and are generally very suggestible. I cannot say that I 
have found improvement or cure so rapid as Dr. Liebeault 
records in several instances, wherein one or two opera- 
tions sufficed to bring about a return to health ; but I 
have generally seen improvement set in at once, and 
continue progressively. Anaemia so often proceeds from 
some disturbance in nutrition connected with innervation, 
that one can understand how it may sometimes be reached 
by mental treatment. In these cases hypnotism acts, I 
imagine, by placing the system in the best possible state 


for natural recuperative processes to operate ; it certainly 
speedily improves the assimilative functions and increases 
the remedial action of iron. 

Case 28. — Kleptomania. 

The name kleptomania excites a smile in many lay- 
men, and they look upon it as a convenient cloak for the 
larcenies of the well-to-do. A learned judge is reputed to 
have replied to a counsel who raised this plea that he was 
there to cure that disease. 

But medical men, especially those who have to deal 
with neurotic and mentally unstable patients, know that 
the condition constitutes a real entity, and reference to 
Hack Tuke's ' Dictionary of Psychological Medicine ' 
shows that there is a considerable literature on the sub- 
ject. Drs. Auguste Voisin and Edgar Berillon, of Paris, 
have reported cases which they have successfully treated by 
hypnotic suggestion, and the following case affords addi- 
tional evidence in support of this method of treatment : 

A. Y , aged sixteen, is a well-grown and intelligent 

youth. There is no history of epilepsy or insanity in the 
family. The patient lived at home until three years ago, 
when he was sent to a large public school. He was 
reserved with the other boys, and did not join in their 
sports with any ardour ; but he worked well, had a good 
place in the school, and was well thought of by the 
masters and boys. For a year he got on very well, and 
then his character gradually underwent a change. He 
became morose and irritable, and when remonstrated with 
for his failure to learn his lessons, he replied that it was 
useless to try when he forgot at once what he learned. 

At the same time articles of jewellery and books began 
to be missed, and when their disappearance was traced to 
him, and his boxes were searched, the lost property was 
found in them. He denied all knowledge of it, and 
became intensely excited when accused of theft. He 
was told that he must be flogged or expelled, and his 
relations were sent for. They very wisely, seeing his 


condition, decided that he should leave the school, and 
he returned to his home. He was now very different to 
what he had been formerly. He was then bright, frank, 
and affectionate ; now he was sullen, irritable, and un- 
truthful. A new school was found for him, which he 
attended as a day-scholar, but he had to be removed from 
it in six weeks, as he not only took things belonging to 
other boys, but also stole books from shops and book- 
stalls. At the same time he began to scream and gesticu- 
late in his sleep at night, and his outbursts of passion 
became uncontrollable. He was taken to a well-known 
neurologist, who pronounced his case one of moral 
insanity, advised his removal from home, and his being 
placed under rigorous discipline. He significantly added 
that he had known a similar case cured by three months' 
hard labour ! The boy was shortly afterwards brought to 
me, on March 30, 1894, and I thought it a suitable case 
for trying hypnotism. 

He was hypnotized in the usual way, and at once proved 
a good subject, though on the first occasion he was not 
somnambulistic. Suggestions were made that he should 
sleep quietly at night, that the nervous irritability should 
pass away, that his memory should improve, and that 
generally he should return to a normal condition. As a 
mental exercise and test of memory, he was told on his 
third visit, while in a state of trance, that he was to learn 
an ode of Horace that evening and write it out from 
memory the following morning. He carried out this 
suggestion then, and on a subsequent occasion apparently 
of his own initiation, for he retained no recollection of my 
suggestion having prompted it. 

He was kept under observation and hypnotized daily 
for a week, and was then allowed to go out alone, and 
was hypnotized twice a week for three months. 

I did not see or hypnotize him from July 3 to 
October 30, but on the latter date I found him well and 
strong physically, and his family assure me that his former 
sweetness of disposition is entirely restored. His memory 


is good, and he no longer talks or gesticulates in his 

There are several points of interest in the case : the 
alteration of disposition and character, the loss of memory, 
and the night terrors pointed to an irritative disturbance 
of the highest cortical centres. His untruthfulness and 
denial of thefts when confronted with the evidence of 
them was at least partially dependent on real amnesia, 
and reminds one of the similar condition often observed 
after epileptic seizures. Though he was kept under treat- 
ment for four months, this length of time did not seem 
absolutely necessary, for there was an almost immediate 
removal of the nervous symptoms, and after the first 
two weeks further hypnotizing was only done as a pre- 
cautionary measure. 

The case was evidently one of degeneration occurring 
at the age of puberty ; and the physiological rest of 
hypnosis, combined with the stimulating of the appro- 
priate centres by suggestion, brought about a restitutio ad 
integrum, and imparted the needful bias towards healthy 
action, which tided him over the critical period of adoles- 
cence. It is particularly satisfactory to be able to cure a 
case of this kind speedily and pleasantly, as the method 
which must be adopted in default of hypnotism is an 
arduous and not always successful course of disciplinary 
training, extending perhaps over years. 

This is only one of several cases of moral insanity 
which I have seen successfully treated by hypnotic sug- 
gestion, and I earnestly recommend trial of the treatment 
in these most harassing cases. 

I should add that the boy had always stammered, but 
that this defect became notably worse during the period 
of mental trouble. Suggestion has had some, but not a 
very great, effect on this condition. A notable symptom 
of disturbance of circulation was the frequent flushing of the 
face and neck. As his nervous system became more stable, 
this became less frequent, and has now altogether ceased.* 
* Reprinted from the Provincial Medical Journal, December, 1894. 


Case 29. — Mischievous Morbid Impulse in a Child. 

The following notes present, I think, many points of 
interest, and illustrate the value of hypnotism in a class of 
cases not amenable to ordinary treatment : 

M. A , aged thirteen, was brought to me for treat- 
ment in December, 1895. 

She was the illegitimate child of a prostitute by a German 
Jew. Both parents, as far as can be gathered, were 
drunken and dissolute ; and the child was adopted when 
a few days old by a respectable artisan and his wife, who 
have brought her up as their own. 

The child was small for her age, fair and fragile in 
appearance, pretty and graceful, and looked very superior 
to the rank of life in which she was placed ; she was of 
highly nervous temperament, but healthy, and had never 
suffered from any severe illness. 

She was intelligent, and stood well in the Board School 
she attended. She was very fond of music, and played 
creditably on the violin. 

She was brought to me to be hypnotized for a habit of 
mischief, which showed itself by cutting up clothing and 
furniture whenever she had an opportunity. Her own 
clothes, especially when new, were the chief objects for 
destruction ; and I was shown frocks, hats, and boots 
which had been destroyed in that way. Everything had 
been tried in the way of cure, from severe punishment to 
affectionate persuasion, but no effect had been produced, 
and the habit had persisted for over seven years. She 
always denied the acts when accused of them, but after- 
wards used to confess to them and promise amendment with 
much weeping. She also habitually bit her nails, a habit 
which Dr. Edgar Berillon of Paris has shown to be a very 
important sign of degeneracy, and she often talked in her 
sleep. In other respects she was a normal and affectionate 

Her extreme nervousness made her difficult to hypno- 
tize but on the third visit she fell into a somnambulic 
state. Suggestions were then and subsequently made, 


that she would have no desire to do mischief, and that 
she would be cured. At the same time, suggestions were 
made that she would sleep quietly at night, and would no 
longer bite her nails. All the suggestions acted perfectly. 
The nail-biting and talking in her sleep ceased at once, and 
there was only one relapse into mischief, when she cut up 
a new bonnet belonging to her foster-mother in February, 
1896. In June, 1896, she had rather a severe attack of 
scarlet fever, from which she made a good recovery. 
Menstruation appeared for the first time in November, 
1896, and continues normal. There has been no return of 
the morbid impulses, and the girl is developing rapidly.* 

If the child is intelligent I find hypnosis is easily induced, 
and that the susceptibility to curative suggestion is very 
marked. On the other hand, when there is deficient 
intelligence, hypnosis is almost impossible of attainment ; 
and suggestion, according to my experience, can achieve 
but little. 

Case 30. — Agoraphobia. 

Mary B came to me for treatment in October, 1898. 

Her age is twenty-six, and she is a Board school mistress. 
She is a strong, healthy-looking woman and a great 

Two years ago she began to notice feelings of dis- 
comfort when in crowded rooms, and especially in church. 
These feelings became gradually intensified, until she was 
unable to go into shops or any place where there were 
many people. She was an extremely good subject — sixth 
degree — and at once responded to suggestion. She returned 
home in two weeks able to go about like other people, and 
wrote to me after a year saying there had been no relapse. 

Case 31. — Morbid Self-reproach. 

Thomas N was sent to me by a Derbyshire clergy- 
man in 1896. He was a man of forty, a mill operator by 

* Reprinted from the Edinburgh Medical Journal, June, 1897. 



trade. He was a steady, religious man, very affectionate 
and emotional, but apparently healthy. 

About a year before he had taken his son, a boy of 
twelve, to spend the night with friends, and the boy had 
been put into damp sheets and got rheumatic fever in 

He recovered after a severe illness, but his father had 
an anxious time, as he accused himself of being the cause 
of the illness. Though the boy got well, the father did 
not recover his spirits, but rather grew worse. He con- 
tinually brooded over the matter, lost his sleep, became 
restless, was unable to work, and, in fact, became practically 

He proved a good hypnotic subject and became somnam- 
bulic at once. I hypnotized him about six times in ten 
days, and he returned home cured. I have since heard 
that there has been no relapse, though the boy was taken 
ill again last year and died. The suggestions were framed 
to combat the morbid idea, and though the local doctor 
and clergyman had used the same arguments many 
times without success, hypnotism served to drive them 

At the Berlin International Medical Congress Dr. 
Berillon was twitted with having only published his 
successful cases, and he was able to retort that if that 
was an offence he sinned in good company. The prac- 
titioner undoubtedly learns much from his own failures, 
but I cannot think that they convey much to others. 
In hypnotism, as in all other treatments, we meet some- 
times with failure and disappointment where success 
seemed assured. Such a case is the following : A lad}-, 
aged thirty-eight, consulted me in November, 1890, for 
partial hemiplegia of apparently functional origin. Though 
it had lasted for six years, and all kinds of treatment had 
been tried in vain, I felt justified in hoping for a good 
result from hypnotism, especially as the lady was very 
susceptible and speedily became somnambulic. Sugges- 


tions were made with great caution, and she was told 
that she would become stronger and better daily, and on 
the seventh day would be able to get out of bed and walk 
without a stick. Though the suggestion was repeated 
daily and the circumstances seemed most favourable, 
nothing critical happened on the expected day, and the 
patient still remains partially hemiplegic. Her general 
health has, however, improved ; she has lost her head- 
aches and feels ' more alive.' Her intelligence, which was 
in the same condition somewhat as her limbs, has greatly 
benefited, and she has lost a habit she had of letting things 
fall that she tried to hold. 

Probably in this case the disorder has lasted so long 
that it has become a part of the patient's individuality, 
and therefore cannot be cured unless something occurs 
to completely change that ; or possibly the case may turn 
out to be one of those referred to by Dr. Buzzard, when 
the earlier stages of disseminated spinal sclerosis are 
masked by hysterical symptoms.* 

Though she frequently becomes somnambulic, she does 
not completely lose touch with the external world, and 
though anaesthetic and irresponsive to any voice but that 
of the operator, she will be seen to smile if something 
very amusing is said in her presence. She does not, 
therefore, fall into the profound state attained by Dr. 
Dumontpallier's patient, in which suggestion is all-power- 
ful, and there is always a degree of unconscious resistance 
which prevents the suggestions being accepted by the mind 
and transformed automatically into actions. 

Another disappointing case is that of a boy aged ten, 
who was brought to me to be treated for nocturnal 
enuresis. He was a natural somnambulist, but hypno- 
tism only induced Liebeault's fourth state. Suggestions 
were made that he should sleep lightly at night and that 
he should leave the bed. The suggestion was realized the 
first night, but completely failed afterwards, and the 

* The subsequent history and death of this patient proved the case 
to be one of disseminated sclerosis. 

21 — 2 


parents gave up the treatment at the end of a week. I 
think it very likely that with perseverance and change of 
method this patient might be cured by suggestion ; but 
it was disappointing not to have succeeded at once in a 
malady which is claimed by all authorities as affording 
convincing proof of the efficacy of hypnotism. 

Consideration of the following cases may be useful : 

Mrs. A , aged forty, came under my care in the 

beginning of 1890 for intemperance. She had indulged to 
excess for seven or eight years, and was a confirmed 
drunkard. Her home was not very happy, and her 
husband and children were uncongenial. She was 
naturally a clever woman, but for many years had 
entirely given up useful employment and devoted her 
whole time, when sober, to reading novels. She was in 
the habit of drinking anything she could get in the way of 
wine, beer or spirits, and showed great cunning in the wax- 
she procured them. She had completely lost all interest 
in life, and had become thoroughly hardened and reckless. 
My success had been so gratifying that I undertook the 
case with some confidence, and named three weeks as 
the time it would probably be necessary to keep her 

under restraint and in the hands of a nurse. Mrs. A 

proved a good subject, and was influenced to the third 
degree. Suggestions were made in the direction of 
loss of craving and dislike for alcohol, and were repeated 
daily for three weeks. The patient was by that time 
quite a changed woman, had regained an interest in life, 
spoke affectionately of her husband and children, and had 
altogether softened to a surprising extent. She went 
away to stay with friends, and during her absence was 
always bright and cheerful ; and though she had easy 
access to wines and spirits, she showed no inclination for 
them, but on the contrary, proclaimed her intention of 
never touching them again. She returned to her home 
after being away altogether four weeks, and she continued 
to keep steady for four or five weeks, during which time 
she paid me bi-weekly visits. Then I ceased to see her, 


and soon heard that she had returned to her old ways. 
This case is a typical one, and I now know the reason 
hypnotism failed to exert more than a transitory effect. 
It was a bad case, and the home associations were 
antagonistic. Instead of keeping her away for only three 
weeks, she ought to have been under the charge of a nurse 
for at least three months, with only occasional visits to 
her home during that time. I have little doubt but that 
if this course had been followed the woman might have 
returned to her house and been temptation-proof in spite 
of ennui and opportunity. The change that was effected 
by three weeks' treatment justifies this inference, and the 
case is a warning against expecting too rapid results in 
difficult cases of dipsomania. 

2. Mrs. W , aged thirty, married, and with three 

children. She has been a patient for several years, and is 
fairly susceptible to ordinary medical treatment. One 
symptom, however, has always resisted the usual remedies. 
There was almost constant pain in the right ovarian 
region, which was tender on pressure ; but examination 
by a specialist did not reveal anything abnormal, and the 
case was one, apparently, of ovarian irritation. I proposed 

hypnotism, and Mrs. W consented. She proved 

susceptible to the third degree, and I hypnotized her 
six times during three weeks. She completely lost the 
pain and tenderness, and though she has had ups and 
downs the last ten years, this particular symptom has 
never returned. 

3. Mrs. B , aged thirty-three, married, and with two 

children. She is of an anxious temperament, and has an 
invalidish husband who causes her great anxiety. She has 
a well-marked systolic bruit dependent on mitral regurgita- 
tion, following an attack of rheumatic fever thirteen years 
before. She was very short of breath, had pain and 
palpitation on exertion, and was so nervous as to be 
unable to drive in a hansom or use a lift. There were 
incessant spasmodic movements of the hands, and many 
other signs of nervous breakdown. 


After various remedies, such as bromides, valerian, and 
digitalis, had been tried without much result, hypnotism 

was suggested and agreed to. Mrs. B- was a good 

subject, though not a somnambulist. The heart's action 
became more regular and slower, and the twitching of the 
hands ceased. The treatment was continued daily for ten 
days, and the patient was then fairly well. She went 
abroad with her husband, and I hear she rides, cycles and 
goes about generally like a healthy woman. The valvular 
trouble is of course still there, but compensation is good, 
and the morbid nervous element has been suppressed by 

Mrs. B is one of several ladies who tell me that 

hypnotic suggestion has increased their courage and 
enabled them to cycle freely in traffic. 

Even more disappointing than failure of suggestions to 
take effect are those cases where the treatment is strongly 
indicated, and yet cannot be applied on account of the 
insusceptibility of the patient. 

A case in point is that of a schoolmaster who consulted 
me a few years ago on account of a miserable delusion 
which was wrecking his life. He was under the impres- 
sion that the boys were always laughing at him, and the 
struggle he had to contain his anger and maintain his 
dignity was so intense that it was undermining his health. 
The idea would probably soon have been removed by 
suggestion, but, unfortunately, he proved absolutely 
insusceptible to hypnotism. 

I have been called upon to treat two cases of ' phantom 
limb,' after amputation, by hypnotism. The treatment 
seems to be thoroughly indicated in such cases, and it was 
a great disappointment to find that neither patient was 
hypnotizable. The first patient was a gentleman of sixty, 
whose leg had been amputated a few weeks previously. 
He had intense pains, which he referred to the missing 
limb. I made many attempts to hypnotize him, but 
without result. 

The second case was that of a colonial gentleman whose 


arm had been badly shattered by a gun explosion, and had 
been amputated at the shoulder. For more than ten years 
he had suffered greatly, especially in damp weather, and 
he referred the pain to the thumb and fingers. 

He also proved quite insusceptible. But I feel confident 
that hypnotic suggestion is the ideal treatment in such 
cases, for it exactly fits the indications. They corre- 
spond to hysterical joints, which are so troublesome to 
deal with. The pain, though referred to the joint or limb, 
depends upon central irritation, and is caused by the 
unhealthy condition of the cortical cells functioning the 

Van Eeden tells me that he has seen a case of phantom 
limb and epilepsy cured by hypnotic suggestion at the 
Amsterdam Clinique. The patient had had his arm 
amputated after an injury, and developed traumatic 
epilepsy. Each fit was preceded by an aura which took 
the form of a forcible elevation of the amputated limb, 
accompanied by intense pain. This is a case in which, if 
hypnotism had failed, one would have urged trephining, 
and operation on the arm centre in the cortex. 

The new theory of nervous action promulgated by Golgi 
and Ramon y Cajal throws light upon this condition. 
They have demonstrated that the neurons form combina- 
tions through their branches, or dendrons, not by con- 
tinuity, but by position. When a nerve-current passes 
from one neuron to another, it does so by their respective 
dendrons interlocking or embracing, and the current is 
made in a manner analogous, probably, as Dr. Hedley 
thinks, to that seen in the coherers of electricians. 

When the contact is not complete no nerve-current or 
impulse can pass, but a nerve cell once serving for the 
passage of nerve-currents undergoes an alteration which 
allows of a more ready passage of a similar current on a 
future occasion. Neurons tend to form combinations or 
' sets ' — to use the language of the compositor — and these 
' sets ' correspond with habits of thought and their 
accompanying actions. 


Bodily conditions are registered in consciousness, and 
their physiological expression is the arrangement of the 
neurons. When the cause of the disturbance of function 
in a part is removed, the ' set ' of the neurons should fall 
back into its normal position, and pain and discomfort 
cease to be registered in consciousness ; but in some 
conditions of ill-health the neurons may remain in their 
abnormal condition, and the subjective symptoms there- 
fore continue. 

Thus, in the case of hysterical knee, some injury occurs 
to the joint, and swelling, stiffness and tenderness ensue, 
with pain on movement. These symptoms are registered 
in consciousness, and a corresponding 'set' of the neurons 
is the result. 

Under ordinary circumstances, as the inflammation 
subsides the ' set ' of the neurons tends to fall back into 
their old arrangement, which is associated in conscious- 
ness with a supple and painless joint. But it sometimes 
happens that the nervous arrangement does not change 
with the disappearance of the cause, and the idea of pain 
and disability continues and becomes fixed in the mind. 

Successful treatment must operate centrally by restoring 
the neurons to their normal relationship and breaking up 
their faulty 'setting.' Much depends upon the capacity 
of change and of disjunction or conjunction in the field of 
contact. This is termed the plasticity of the neuron. 
Habit implies increased plasticity, and organic memory 
depends upon plasticity acquired for the good of the 
organism. In infancy and youth the connections are 
less rigidly set than in adult life, and consequently it is 
easy to direct and modify them. 

Note. — The following cases further illustrate the use of hypnotic 
suggestion in general practice. During the recent epidemic of in- 
fluenza, I was called to atten 1 a young woman who, in addition to the 
usual symptoms, was suffering from congestion of the right lung and 
erysipelas of the face. She complained very much of frontal headache 
and pains in the limbs, and had not slept the preceding night. The 
eyes were completely occluded by the erysipelatous swelling, and she 
experienced much heat and aching in them. I asked her if she would 
like to sleep and get rid of some of her pain, and she naturally replied 
that there was nothing she more desired. The ordinary method was 


out of the question, as she could see nothing, so I gently stroked her 
forehead and suggested drowsiness and sleep. This simple process 
rapidly induced somnolence and tranquillity, followed in less than ten 
minutes by a deep sleep, which lasted for two hours. The patient 
awoke greatly relieved by the physiological rest the system had 
enjoyed, and made a good recovery under the usual remedies. Of 
course, I do not contend that hypnotism is curative in erysipelas, con- 
gestion of the lungs, or any other acute disease ; but from a number 
of experiences similar to the above I know that it quiets the nervous 
erethism which is so distressing a symptom in many acute cases, and 
puts the patient into a condition most favourable for recovery and for 
the action of drugs. I have found it useful as a palliative in cancer 
and other painful and incurable diseases. The following cases present 
features of interest : 

1. Hystero-epilepsy for five years in a girl aged fourteen. Attacks 
were caused by touching the region of the right breast (a hystero- 
genic zone), and were characterized by convulsive movements of the 
right side. In addition, there were nearly daily attacks of what 
looked suspiciously like epilepsy, with occasional biting of the tongue, 
and followed by languor and drowsiness. The girl had been an 
in-patient at several hospitals without much benefit. After being 
hypnotized seven or eight times she began to improve. There is now 
no longer a hysterogenic zone, and she has had no fit of any kind for 
three months. The catamenia, which had been suppressed for six 
months, did not, however, reappear, in spite of suggestions made to 
that effect. 

The two last cases I shall give are not examples of brilliant cures, 
but illustrate the importance of not promising too much from the 

2. Miss H has been a chronic invalid almost since childhood. 

She is forty years of age, and has anchylosis of the right hip joint, 
following hip-joint disease and lateral curvature of the spine. She is 
of hysterical and melancholy temperament, and her mental powers 
seem to have atrophied pari passu with her disused muscles. A year's 
perseverance in the treatment has enabled her to find some enjoyment 
in life; she is able to walk over a mile without much fatigue, and to 
play the violin for nearly an hour at a time. Previously for some 
months she had been barely able to move about the house, and it is 
years since she was able to walk a quarter of a mile. Neither had 
she been able for a long period to play, partly because of invincible 
habitude, and partly from the fatigue attendant on the slightest 

3. Miss E was sent to me in October suffering from hysterical 

right hemiplegia of a year's standing. It came on suddenly after her 
mother's death, and she had had repeated relapses after apparent im- 
provement. She fell sometimes into the third and sometimes the 
fourth degee of hypnosis, and in this condition friction was applied to 
the paretic side, and suggestions made. She improved but slowly, and 
after twelve operations suffered from a relapse, and was confined to 
her bed completely helpless for a week. On her return to me I found 
the right arm and leg much colder than the left, and the reflexes on 
that side increased. Perseverance in the treatment for three months 
has produced a decided improvement : the right leg is nearly as warm 
and strong as the left, and her general health has greatly improved. 
One would almost have felt justified in expecting more rapidly curative 
results in this case, and the relapse whilst undergoing treatment was 


disappointing. It illustrates the point I have so frequently alluded to, 
that pronouncedly hysterical persons aic by no means the best subjects 
for this treatment. 

My appreciation of the efficacy of drugs has been in- 
creased since studying hypnotic suggestion ; for I have 
seen on several occasions a properly selected remedy 
remove a symptom which suggestion had left untouched. 
Dr. Van Eeden has shown how the beneficial effects of 
massage and Swedish gymnastics are increased in certain 
cases by being combined with Dr. Liebeault's system. 

That hypnotic suggestion is destined to play henceforth 
an important part in the treatment of disease and the 
alleviation of human suffering is evident, and enlarged 
observation will show what it can and what it cannot do. 
Its future in this country depends on the attitude the 
medical profession assumes towards it during the next 
few years. If the attitude is a wise one, and the utility of 
hypnotism in treating certain diseases is recognised, and 
its practice given an honourable position, we shall see 
benefit conferred on humanity. Hypnotism affords special 
scope for quackery, and if its legitimate possessors refuse 
to use it, we shall probably see a class of undesirable 
practitioners arise whose interests in it will not coincide 
with those of their patients or the profession. 


Dr. Yung's Experiment with ' Magnetized Cards.' — James Braid of 
Manchester. — Duration of Hypnotic Sleep. — Dr. Luys' Rotating 
Minor and Dr. Ochorowicz's Hypnoscope. — Theory of Professor 
Delbceuf. — Theory of Mr. F. W. H. Myers. — Some Phenomena 
of Hypnotic Somnambulism. — Dr. Liebeault's Classification of 
Hypnotic Sleep. — Method of Public Performers. — Resolutions 
adopted at the Paris Congress. — International Statistics of Hyp- 
notism. — Experiments in Auto -Suggestion. — Hypnotization of 
Animals. — Treatment by Transfer. — Christian Science Healing. — 
Hypnotism and Crime. — The Hypnotic Will Case. — Belgian 
Legislation regarding Hypnotism. — Report of the British Medical 
Association Committee. 

Note i. — For Page 27. 

I am informed on the best authority that in the initiatory 
rites of several secret societies the candidate is submitted to 
a somewhat similar ordeal. He is told that he must submit 
to be bled. His eyes are blindfolded, his arm is pricked, 
and a stream of warm water is allowed to trickle down it. 

The surroundings at the same time being mysterious and 
awe-inspiring, a very great effect is produced on nervous 
and sensitive subjects. Syncope and nervous exhaustion 
not uncommonly follow the ceremony, and the new 
member may be made ill for days. 

The rite is, no doubt, an example of the survival of the 
form after the unpleasant reality has, in deference to 
civilization, been allowed to fall into disuse. 

An amusing experiment is described by Dr. Yung, privat 
docent of Geneva, which forcibly displays the power 
of suggestion without hypnotism. He calls it ' the ex- 
periment with magnetized cards,' and he carries it out as 
follows : With a grave face and serious manner he pro- 


ceeds to give a short account of ' animal magnetism,' and 
to explain how the ' subtle fluid ' can be made to affect 
even inert substances. Having thus aroused ' expectant 
attention,' he carefully arranges a few cards on the table 
and makes 'magnetic' passes over them. This process, 
he assures his audience, charges the cards with his mag- 
netism, and makes them different to any other cards, so 
that if a person touches one of them he will change its 
polarity, and it will thus be distinguishable to his touch 
from the others. He then leaves the room, and a by- 
stander touches one of the cards. Dr. Yung, on his 
return, makes a few passes over them and finally picks out 
the card which has been touched, saying that he feels 
contact with it sends a nervous thrill up his arm like an 
electric shock. 

But he adds there is nothing wonderful in this, as any- 
one will experience the same thing. The challenge is 
accepted, and probably the most sceptical person in the 
room goes through the same pantomime of magnetizing 
the cards with a look of scornful contempt on his face. 
No card is touched, and he is told on his return not to 
make a guess, but to really try if he can detect a difference 
between one card and another. In nearly every instance 
Dr. Yung found a difference was said to be felt, and what- 
ever card was indicated was declared to be the right one. 
The experimenter is shut out of the room a second and a 
third time, and it is nearly always found that by the third 
time the subject will declare he undoubtedly feels a very 
strong nervous shock of the kind described by Dr. Yung. 
Of course, Dr. Yung had a confederate who, by an agreed- 
upon signal, informed him of the card which had been 
touched. He has tried this experiment on about 800 
persons, many of whom were medical men and scientific 
students, and in nine cases out of ten he has elicited by 
pure suggestion the sensations he described. 

I have repeated the experiment in about a score of cases, 
and in nearly every instance have obtained a like result. 
One subject, a particularly wide-awake American, assured 


me at the third trial that the shock was quite as strong as 
that received from a powerful static batter)' which he had 
just been testing. 

Note 2. — Braid of Manchester. 

James Braid used to throw his patients into a kind of 
sleep or trance by making them fix their eyes and atten- 
tion on a bright object — generally his lancet-case — held a 
few inches above the eyes. He found this caused fatigue 
of sight and abstraction of mind, which in nearly all cases 
induced the condition he termed Jiypiwtism. 

He practised his system successfully for many years at 
Manchester, and wrote several books in which he fully 
explained it. 

But it seems to have died with him, and it is only now 
that suggestion with hypnotism has come so prominently 
before the profession that his works begin to be largely 
read. The most important one, 'Neurypnology' (London, 
1852), has been recently translated into French by 
Monsieur Jules Simon — an almost unique honour, I 
imagine, for a foreign medical author nearly thirty years 
after his death.* 

Braid found hypnotism increased the heart's action to 
such an extent that he warned medical men against using 
it when heart disease was suspected. He found it impos- 
sible to get children to keep their eyes fixed on his lancet- 
case for the necessary four or five minutes, and therefore 
regarded them as insusceptible. We have seen, on the 
other hand, that suggestion finds its best subjects in 
children between the ages of three and fourteen, and 
in heart disease it is one of the most successful means 
of calming and reducing irregular heart action. Braid 
went near to discovering the truth which Liebeault, a 
few years afterwards, thought out, and introduced to the 

* IJraid died in i860, the year in which Dr. Liebeault opened his 
dispensary at Nancy. So though unrepresented in England, he found 
a follower abroad who was possessed of a 'double portion of his spirit.' 


Note 3. — Duration of Hypnotic Sleep. 

In order to arrive at the solution of this question, Pro- 
fessor Bernheim allowed many of his patients to ' have 
their sleep out.' He found its average duration was three 
or four hours, but, as with natural sleep, it varied with 
individuals and circumstances. 

On several occasions it lasted fifteen, and once eighteen, 
hours. In all cases the patients awoke fresh and com- 

Note 4. — Dr. Luys' Rotating Mirror, and Dr. 
Ochorowicz's Hypnoscope. 

The mirror designed by Dr. Luys, of La Charite, is 
used in dispensaries and hospitals when it is desired to 
hypnotize a large number of persons in a short space of 
time. It consists of a rapidly revolving mirror mounted 
on a stand, and it is found that gazing at this quickly 
dazzles the sight and produces hypnosis in susceptible 
subjects. By its means a roomful of people may some- 
times be hypnotized at once, and the suggestions can be 
applied at leisure. There is a large sale of these instru- 
ments in Paris, but in private practice I think they would 
not be found very effectual. Dr. Liebeault and others 
frequently operate on thirty or forty patients in a fore- 
noon by the ordinary method without fatigue, so I fail 
to see the object of this plan of hypnotizing people 

Considerable experience with Luys' mirror has not 
altered my opinion as to its utility. In one instance, an 
hysterical young woman, whom I cured of very obstinate 
hiccough (it had been almost incessant for seven years) by 
suggestion, was hypnotized by gazing for twenty minutes 
at the mirror after other methods had failed ; but her case 
is almost an isolated one in my experience. Though Dr. 
Luys stated that everyone goes to sleep after looking at the 
mirror for half an hour at the longest, I have seen several 
patients, who wished to be influenced, gaze at it steadily 


for nearly an hour without any result except a head- 
ache. I have seen it produce most violent palpitation, 
and altogether should advise caution in the use of the 

Dr. Ochorowicz, late Professor of Physiology at Lem- 
burg, has devised an instrument for testing hypnotic 
susceptibility, which he calls the hypnoscope. It consists 
of a steel magnet bent in the form of a ring, which is 
placed on the patient's finger. He finds susceptible 
persons experience a sensation of numbness and stiffness 
in the part after wearing the instrument for a short time, 
and the finger is often rendered rigid and immovable. Dr. 
Ochorowicz himself seems to think this effect is the result 
of suggestion, and no doubt a patient who is so easily 
influenced by the imagination would be a good subject for 
the treatment. But I imagine that many persons who are 
sufficiently susceptible to hypnotism to benefit from sugges- 
tion would be quite insensitive to such action. Readers of 
Braid's ' Neurypnology' will remember how he paid a visit 
to a lady who announced herself as so affected by a magnet 
that she knew at once when there was one anywhere near 
her. Braid sat close to her for an hour with a most 
powerful magnet in his pocket within a few inches of her, 
but she experienced no discomfort, because she did not know 
it was there. I have frequently produced many curious local 
subjective symptoms in impressionable persons by passing 
a magnet over a limb, but always of the nature I had 
previously suggested. 

Note 5. — Theory of Professor Delbceuf. 

The late Dr. Delbceuf, of Liege, whose experiment on the 
cauterized arm has been referred to (p. 66), and whose eye 
case has also been quoted (p. 289), puts forward a theory to 
account for this action of suggestion on the functions of 

* I am frequently asked where the instrument can be bought. 
Until lecently one had to get it from Paris, but now Mr. Thistleton, 
medical electrician, 1, Old Quebec Street, London, W., keeps a stock 
of rotating mirrors. 


organic life. He supposes that under ordinary circum- 
stances our attention is concentrated upon external things, 
from which come our more vivid impressions — the life of 
relation. The vegetative functions are so established that 
they go on automatically and unconsciously, and it is only 
under exceptional circumstances that we become acquainted 
with the working of organic life; e.g., lying awake at night, 
we become conscious of the movements of the heart, and 
in illness we are frequently made unpleasantly cognisant 
of functions at other times unfelt. But though in the 
progress of evolution it has been found expedient that the 
functions of organic life should be carried on automatically 
by the lower departments of the cerebro-spinal system, in 
order that all our attention may be devoted to accommo- 
dating ourselves to the environment, the highest centres 
have not yet entirely lost control over those below them, 
and may under certain circumstances resume, on occasion, 
the power which they had ceased to exercise. It is well, 
under ordinarv circumstances, that organic life should be 
carried on automatically ; but it is conceivable that condi- 
tions mav arise in which the interference of the suzerain 
may be necessary. It is in these cases, according to 
Professor Delbceuf, that hypnotism plays such an im- 
portant part. The hypnotized person is more or less cut 
off from the life of relation, and the attention, being set 
free from consideration of the environment, can be directed 
inwards and made to concentrate itself for a time on the 
organic functions : the mind is thus enabled to resume its 
knowledge and the will its control. 

On this theory it is possible to understand the different 
degrees of control over their functions exercised by different 
individuals. On the one hand we see or hear of exceptional 
cases like that of Colonel Townshend, in which a person is 
able, apparently, to exercise some control over his organic 
functions in his ordinary waking state ; and others in 
which such a result may be brought about by special 
psychical preparation — e.g., the Indian fakirs. The 
theory explains the facility with which we produce 


curative effects in certain patients who are only slightly 
influenced by hypnotism, whilst in others our suggestions 
only affect functions, and relieve symptoms when the 
hypnotic sleep is extremely profound. 

N »TE 6. — Theory of Mr. F. W. H. Myers. 

Mr. F. W. H. Myers has for many years made a 
careful study of hypnotism from a psychical point of 
view, and his researches on the subconscious self, or 
subliminal consciousness, are embodied in the Proceedings 
of the Society for Psychical Research. 

He was invited to address the members of the British 
Medical Association at Edinburgh in 1898, in the section 
of Psychological Medicine, and he there briefly expounded 
his theory, which is this : Ordinary consciousness makes 
up but a small part of a man's personality. ' Beneath the 
threshold of working consciousness there lies, not merely 
an unconscious complex of organic processes, but an 
intelligent vital control.' He supposes that this subliminal 
consciousness is evoked by the hypnotist, who is thus 
enabled, as it were, to tap a deeper stratum of being, 
which is more independent of passing impressions and 
environment than the ordinary strata of consciousness. 
In hysteria with anaesthesia, restricted field of vision 
and blunted muscular sense, we see a curtailment or 
submergence of the normal self, whereas in the manifesta- 
tions of genius we have its enlargement or emergence. 

It is this higher level which is spoken of as inspiration, 
and which is developed in all great poets, artists and 
teachers who are illuminated by the flash of genius, or an 
emergence of faculty from the subconscious strata. 

Mr. Myers is a poet as well as a psychologist, and 
might, I suppose, be called a pantheist. He believes 
in a 'world-soul,' with which our higher nature is in 
communion, more or less. This, however, is not the 
place to expound the depths of his philosophy, or to 
praise the beauty of the language in which his ideas are 



Such problems have always exercised humanity, and 
there is nothing quite new under the sun. 

'Subliminal consciousness' in its omniscience and omni- 
potence appears to take the place occupiedhy the Archeus in 
Van Helmont's system, only the Archeus was of a more 
material type than Mr. Myers' subliminal self. It required 
drastic treatment at times; for instance, Van Helmont 
says, ' Dropsy is not due to an organic lesion of the liver, 
but to the anger of the renal Archeus, who has lost his 
temper and refuses to work. One way of reducing him to 
order is to terrify him, and this may be done by tying a 
snake round the patient's waist, and applying toads to the 
region of the kidneys.'* 

Note 7. — Some Phenomena of Hypnotic 

Many extraordinary and, at the present time, inexplic- 
able phenomena can be produced in subjects who attain 
the last degree of hypnotic somnambulism. 

Such persons are but rarely met with, and are, I believe, 
always of hysterical temperament, which is generally com- 
bined with a tendency to phthisis, scrofula, or other chronic 

These phenomena, as has been already said, are of purely 
psychological interest, and should be kept entirely distinct 
from therapeutic suggestion. 

Among Dr. Liebeault's patients at Nancy is a young 
woman named Camille, a favourite subject for experiment, 
as she readily falls into the most profound state of hypnotic 

Like many hysterical persons, she takes a pride in her 
infirmity, and therefore, without being oversceptical, 
one may wish to verify the experiments tried on her. 
One of the most curious of these is the production of 
negative hallucinations by suggestion. Camille, and one or 
two other persons of the same nervous temperament, 

* ' .Medical History from the Earliest Times.' Withington, Scientific 
I ress Series, 1894. 


would be told that on waking they would not see So-and- 
so, though he might speak to her, touch her, and even prick 
or pinch her, and the suggestion was realized. Or they 
would be told that the door was no longer existing, in which 
case, though apparently quite awake, thev would seek in 
vain to cross the threshold until the spell was removed. 

On my return to London I was fortunate enough to meet 
a lady who takes a great interest in the subject, and is at 
the same time susceptible of being thrown into the most 
advanced stages of hypnotic somnambulism. Her husband 
is a man of science, and also much interested in hypnotism. 
They were both quite ignorant of the phenomena I wished 
to produce, and the conditions therefore were perfectlv 

Mrs. H is about thirty years of age, small, slight, 

and a blonde. She is highly nervous, and occasionally 
hysterical, but she enjoys good health, is intelligent, and 
active in her household duties. On the first occasion I 
tried to develop a negative hallucination, her husband was 
confined to the room with a bad cold, and was sitting by 
the fire in an armchair a few feet from her. I hypnotized 
her, and told her that on waking she would not see him, 
would not hear him if he spoke to her, and would not feel 
him if he touched her. All this was literally realized. 
She was apparently wide awake, and yet when I asked 
her where her husband was she said she didn't know, but 
thought he had gene upstairs, and would be down very 
soon. He spoke to her, calling her by name, and asked 
her to get his medicine, to stir the fire, what there was 
for supper, and a number of other questions. She gave 
not a sign of having heard ; in fact, she evidently did not 
hear him, though she conversed with me intercurrently 

quite rationally. Mr. H then approached her, touched 

her hand, sat down beside her, and talked ; but evidently 
for her he had ceased to exist, as she betrayed not the 
faintest consciousness of his presence. I then asked Mr. 

H to speak impersonally, and he said, ' Mrs. H 

will now go to the table, take up the doctor's gloves, and 

22 — 2 


try them on.' She did not appear to hear, but in a few 
moments she got up, went to the table, and tried on my 
gloves — a thing she would never have thought of doing 
of her own initiative. I asked her why she did this, and 
she replied, ' I don't know ; I thought I should like to.' 
She was not aware that the impulse proceeded from 

another. When I blew on her eyes, and said, ' Mrs. H , 

there is your husband close beside you, and you can see 
him now,' she looked fixedly at his chair for a moment, 
and then said, ' Yes, I see him now ; but where was he a 
minute ago ?' adding, ' At first he looked small and in- 
distinct, but now it is all right.'* We know we- may look 
at a thing and yet not see it when in a ' brown study,' or 
preoccupied with something. A familiar example of this 
is afforded by observing how absent-minded people pass 
their friends in the street without recognition, though 
their eyes may dwell on them for some time. Afterwards 
they will deny having seen them, and truly they have not. 
' Eyes have they, but they see not.' A physical impres- 
sion has been made on the retina, but it has not undergone 
that cortical co-ordination or registration in consciousness 
without which there can be no perception. 

I had only learnt that morning, from reading an article 
by Professor Liegeois,t the curious fact that in hypnotic 
somnambulism the subject will carry out a suggestion 
made by a person whom she is prevented, by some in- 
hibitory nerve-action, from apparently either seeing or 
hearing. The same lad)- kindly allowed me to try other 
simple experiments on her. She was ignorant of the 

* Binet and F£re, op. cit., p. 311, relate a convincing experiment 
showing the reality of this psychical blindness. A subject had on each 
side of the mammary region a hysterogenic zone, pressure on which 
immediately produced an hysteiical attack. One of the physicians 
rendered himself invisible by suggestion, and at the same time de- 
stroyed the sensation of contact on his approach. A strong pressure 
on the zones then failed to produce any attack, nor did she make any 
effort to repel the experimenter, but only complained of a vague sense 
of oppression. On the other hand, she recoiled in terror when another 
person put his hand near these zones. 

t ' Un Nouvel Etat Psychologique,' Revue de PHypnotisme, August,. 


nature of them, and only stipulated that the)' should not 
make her appear ridiculous or cause much pain. When 
in the hypnotic sleep I gently touched and kept my fore- 
finger on a small surface of the wrist, saying while I did 

so, ' Poor Mrs. H has a nasty burn on her wrist, 

probably from some boiling water ; the place is very red, 
and rather painful.' In a few minutes I awakened her, 
and she immediately began rubbing her wrist, as if in pain 
there. On my asking her what was the matter, she replied, 
' I think I must have spilt some boiling water on my 
wrist ; it feels as if I had burnt it.' On looking at tb/j 
spot, there was a very perceptible patch of redness about 
the size of a sixpence, and every moment this became 
more defined and angry-looking. As the pain was in- 
creasing, it would have been a breach of our agreement 
to protract the experiment, so I hypnotized her once 
more, and told her that there was no burn, and that the 
redness and pain would be quite gone when she awoke. 
In point of fact, a very short time was sufficient to disperse 
the morbid appearance, and on reawakening her there 
was no complaint of discomfort. The same lady after the 
first operation complained of chilliness and stiffness, but 
I had only to suggest on future occasions that she was 
not to feel these unpleasant symptoms to ensure her not 
being troubled with them. 

These experiments belong in no way to therapeutic 
suggestion, but are of interest, as they show how exactly 
the phenomena produced at Nancy may be reproduced by 
experiment in England. 

Note 8. — Dr. Liebeault's Classification of Hypnotic 


First Degree. — The patient feels a heaviness of the eye- 
lids and a general drowsiness. 

Second Degree. — This is characterized by suggestive 
catalepsy. When the operator places the arm in a 
certain position, and says it is to remain there, it is im- 
possible for the patient to put it down. It remains rigid 


and fixed for a much longer time than would be possible 
in a natural state. In these two degrees consciousness 
remains almost complete, and often the patient denies 
having been in the hypnotic state because he has heard and 
remembers every word which has been spoken to him. A 
very large proportion of people never pass beyond this stage. 

Third Degree. — In this the subject is also conscious of 
everything going on around him to a certain extent, and 
hears every word addressed to him ; but he is oppressed 
by great sleepiness. An action communicated to a limb 
is automatically continued. If the arm is rotated to 
begin with, it goes on turning until the operator directs 
its stoppage. 

Fourth Degree. — In the fourth degree of hypnotic sleep 
the patient ceases to be in relation with the outer world. 
He hears only what is said to him by the operator. 
. The Fifth and Sixth Degrees, according to Liebeault, 
constitute somnambulism. In the former, recollection of 
what occurred during sleep is indistinct and recalled with 
difficulty ; in the latter, the patient is unable to recall 
spontaneously anything which has occurred while asleep. 
All the phenomena of post-hypnotic suggestion can be 
induced in this condition, and it presents features of 
extraordinary interest to the psychologist. 

Note 9. — Method of Public Performers. 

Though, in deference to public sentiment, the travelling 
' professors ' style themselves hypnotists, it is easy to see 
that they do so somewhat under protest, and that they 
much prefer the old name of ' mesmerism,' or, better still, 
' animal magnetism.' 

Their method is the same all the world over. A certain 
number of previously-hypnotized subjects are scattered 
among the audience, and when the lecturer asks for 
persons to experiment on, these make a rush for the plat- 
form, and form a nucleus on which to work. Probably a 
few bond-fide strangers will lend themselves for experiment, 
and one way and another the platform will be well filled 


with candidates. The lecturer gives to each person a 
bright disc, which he is to look at steadily. In a few 
minutes he goes round, closes the eyes, and tells the 
subject that he is unable to open them. If he opens 
them, he is sent back to his seat among the audience ; if 
not, he is reserved for further use, and is given a seat on 
the platform. A favourite plan with the experimenter is 
now to open the subject's mouth to its widest extent, turn 
him round so as to face the audience, and tell him he is 
unable to shut it. A friend of mine, a doctor in good 
practice, was so treated in a foreign watering place, and 
his feelings when he was thus made a laughing-stock of a 
large assemblage of people were not enviable. After these 
experiments in inhibiting voluntary motor action, the 
lecturer will go on to produce hallucinations of the senses, 
and will amuse his audience by showing what antics a 
human being can be made to perform when he has been 
deprived of the use of the higher brain functions. He 
can be made to think himself a general at the head of his 
arm}- in battle, a school-boy being flogged, or an animal 
at the Zoological Gardens. Whatever he is told to believe 
is at once acted upon, and as the lecturer's object is to 
cause amusement, he finds it advantageous to make the 
actions outrageous, and to alternate the imaginary changes 
of condition as rapidly as possible. It is no wonder, 
therefore, that the unfortunate subjects complain the next 
day of malaise and mental confusion, and it is fortunate if 
no graver results follow. 

The performance of such a person has about as much 
relation to psycho-therapeutics as the antics of a merry- 
andrew at a fair have to the practice of a Court physician. 
That such things should have been tolerated will probably 
be a subject of astonishment to our descendants. 

A friend of mine a few years ago paid heavily for taking 
one of these men at his own valuation. He was much 
struck by the phenomena shown at a public performance, 
and had a conversation with the ' professor ' afterwards, 
which further impressed him. The next day at his club 


some of his friends said the whole thing was a fraud, and 

laughed at Mr. X for believing the performance 

genuine. My friend waxed warm in argument, and 
offered to back his opinion by betting £100 that the 
' professor ' would hypnotize two persons out of any ten 
selected by the unbelievers. 

The bet was taken up by two members of the club, and 
Mr. X stood to win or lose £200. 

A supper was arranged, to which the ' professor ' was 
invited, and ten young men selected from a South London 
football team were brought in after supper as subjects. 
Not one of them proved hypnotizable, and my friend lost 
his money. 

The conditions were very unfair, as the young men had 
been told to resist : and to attempt to hypnotize a number 
of unwilling strangers after supper among a crowd of 
sceptical lookers-on was a task which no wise man would 
undertake. My experience would lead me to reckon that, 
under suitable conditions, eight out of the ten would have 
been more or less influenced ; and probably two or three, 
after a trial or two, would have proved somnambulic. 

Note 10. — Resolutions adopted at the Paris 

The following resolutions were agreed to at the first 
International Congress of Physicians and Jurists on 
Hypnotism held in Paris, 1889 : 

' This Congress recognises the danger of public exhibi- 
tions of magnetism and hypnotism, and deeming that the 
therapeutic application of hypnotism has become a branch 
of the science of medicine, that its official teaching is the 
province of psychiatry, votes the following resolutions : 

' 1. Public exhibitions of hypnotism and magnetism 
should be forbidden by the administrative authorities in 
the interest of public hygiene and public morals. 

' 2. The employment of hypnotism as a curative agent 
should be subject to the laws and restrictions which 
regulate medical practice generally. 


1 3. It is desirable that the study of hypnotism and of its 
therapeutic application be introduced into the curriculum 
of medical sciences.' 

The following schedule (pp. 346, 347) has been sent to 
all physicians who have sent in their names as practising 
hypnotism. The immense practical value of the statistics 
to be thus collected will be recognised at a glance. 

International Statistics of Hypnotic Impression- 
ability and of Suggestive Psycho-Therapeutics. 

The following schedule is framed with the object of 
elucidating the results of hypnotic treatment by compara- 
tive statistics. 

'a. The proportion of persons who are susceptible to 
hypnotic influence. 

' b. The degree of impressionability and its relation to 
the age. sex, constitution and temperament of the subject, 
and the method of hypnotizing adopted. 

' c. The value of hypnotic suggestion as a therapeutic 
agent tested by the amount of success and number of 
failures, by the duration and completeness of the cures, 
ameliorations,' etc. 

This inquiry is extremely important, because authorities 
are not agreed on the subject, and we therefore beg our 
colleagues who use hypnotism either as a means of cure or 
for scientific investigation to fill in the enclosed papers as 
completely and carefully as possible. 

Please give the degree of hypnotism attained, and for 
the purpose of classification observe the following defini- 
tions and characteristics : 

I. Light Sleep. — Feeling of fatigue. The patient's will- 
power is either unaffected or is only slightly modified. 
It is often difficult or impossible to open the eyes. The 
subject on awaking remembers everything that has 
happened, and does not experience the sensation of 
having slept. 

II. Profound Sleep. — The patient's will is either partially 
or completely in abeyance. The eyes are generally closed, 




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but sometimes remain open. Memory on awaking is 
either lost or incomplete, and he feels more or less the 
sensation of having slept. 

III. Somnambulism. — Complete amnesia on awaking, and 
possibility of realizing hallucinations and other hypnotic 
and post-hypnotic suggestions. 

The sign O signifies the waking state. 

Please indicate the method employed by the following 
signs : 

a. Method of Braid and Charcot. Physical means. 
Vivid sensory impressions (light, sound, etc.). Fixation 
of the eyes with a brilliant object. Pressure on or friction 
of certain regions of the body (hypnogenic zones). Mono- 
tonous sensory impressions, etc. 

/3. Method of Liebeault and Bernheim. Suggestion : 
the method adopted by the school of Nancy. 

7. Combined method — a employed systematically in 
conjunction with /3. 

Forms to be obtained from, and details to be sent to, 
Dr. Von Schrenk-Notzing, Munich. 

Note ii. — Experiments in Auto-Suggestion. 

Dr. Coste de Lagrave, surgeon-major in the French 
army, contributed an interesting paper to the International 
Congress on auto-suggestion, and related several experi- 
ments he has made on himself during the last few years. 

By practice he acquired the power of being able to sleep 
at will, and of awaking at a definite time. To effect this 
he only had to lie down, and fix his attention on sleep, and 
on the idea that he would awake after a certain number of 
minutes. In a short time he obtained such self-control 
that he could get five or six distinct sleeps, and as many 
distinct awakenings, in the course of an hour. He also 
succeeded in producing dreams of the character he wished, 
and in evoking sensory delusions and hallucinations to 
such an extent that he became alarmed, lest the condition 
thus induced should become permanent. He was able to 
apply auto-suggestion in a curative direction, and thus to 


relieve himself of colic, gastrodynia, and the like. He did 
this by closing his eyes, and concentrating his thoughts on 
the organ he wished to affect. In from a quarter to half 
an hour he generally succeeded in getting rid of the pain. 
On one occasion, when riding with troops, he suffered 
greatly from cold feet, and he tried the effect of auto- 
suggestion. He closed his eyes, and induced a state of 
drowsiness, in which he directed his thoughts to his feet, 
which he wished to become warm. In less than half an 
hour he was conscious of a feeling of warmth in them, and 
as long as he kept his attention fixed there they continued 
so; but very soon they became cold again when he allowed 
his thoughts to dwell on other things, showing, as he 
thinks, that the sensation of warmth depended on mental 
influence and mind concentration. In subsequent experi- 
ments he produced the desired result in a shorter time, and 
he found that the sensation of warmth was not merely sub- 
jective, for on removing his boots he felt the previously cold 
feet warm to the touch, thus getting the same effect as is 
nearly always demonstrable in ordinary hypnotic practice. 

He relates a curious experience of auto-suggestion in 
nervous prostration. He had been invalided home from 
Tonkin for dysentery, and for a year had been so pros- 
trated by weakness that he was unable to walk a mile in 
the course of a day. One night he suggested to himself 
increased muscular and nervous force, and ability to 
walk without fatigue. The next day he walked over six 
miles without difficulty ; but, unfortunately, he does not 
mention in his paper whether this effort was followed by 
reaction, or whether the improvement was permanent. 

Dr. de Lagrave's experiments open up an interesting 
field of research, and if his experience is corroborated by 
that of other scientific observers, it will throw light on 
a number of mental phenomena connected with directed 
self-consciousness, which are at present surrounded with 
a degree of mysticism. The yogis and fakirs of India 
assert that they can obtain remarkable control over their 
bodily organs and functions by contemplation, introspec- 


tion, and other mental exercises ; and there is little doubt 
that many of their achievements are the result of auto- 
hypnotism and auto-suggestion. 

Note 12. — Hypxotization of Animals. 

Dr. Gerald Yeo, late Professor of Physiology at King's 
College, read a very interesting paper before the College 
Society in 1883 (' The Nervous Mechanism of Hypno- 
tism '), in which he propounded some interesting theories 
on the subject of hypnotic phenomena, and illustrated 
them by experiments on animals. He showed how 
animals of such diverse organization as crayfish, frogs, 
fowls and guinea-pigs could be easily hypnotized by 
monotonous continuous stimulation, and made to remain 
motionless and unresponsive to ordinary stimulation. He 
induced this state by firmly fixing them in one position 
for a few minutes, and then gently removing the restrain- 
ing influence, when it was found the animals continued in 
that position, however abnormal, for several minutes. 
Kircher's experiment with the domestic fowl is the most 
familiar example of hypnotic effect in animals. If a chalk 
line is drawn and the bird held for a few seconds with its 
beak on this line, it will be found that the creature re- 
mains in that position for several minutes. Dr. Yeo, 
however, says that the line is unnecessary in performing 
this experiment. Dr. Ralph Vincent (op. cit.) relates 
various experiments he has made on hypnotized cats, 
rabbits, toads, and other animals. 

The plan of changing the nest of a sitting hen, familiar 
to farmers, probably depends on hypnotism for its success. 
The fowl's head is firmly held under its wing for a few 
minutes, and she is carried from one nest to another. She 
seems ignorant of the change, and continues sitting on 
the new set of eggs until they are hatched, or she is again 
removed to another nest in the same way. The drowsy 
condition induced in man}- animals by gentle friction of 
the forehead is a matter of common observation ; and I 
have frequently seen negroes in South America reduced 


to a condition of drowsiness verging on somnambulism by 
the gentle stroking of the head and manipulation of the 
hair which they seem to be so fond of at the hands of 
their womankind. 

Note 13. — Treatment by Transfer. 

Dr. Luys, physician to La Charite Hospital, Paris, and 
a well-known physiologist, has recently introduced a novel 
kind of treatment of which he expects great things, and 
which, as he told me, he thinks will supersede hypnotism. 
In company with Dr. Kingsbury, I took several oppor- 
tunities in 1890 of visiting his clinique and seeing his 

Dr. Luys and his assistants were most kind, and readily 
showed us the curious experiments described in the 
Fortnightly Review for August, 1S90. Several patients were 
undergoing the new treatment, and we had the oppor- 
tunity of watching their progress for three or four days, 
and of questioning them as to their feelings and symptoms. 
Many of them spoke with enthusiasm of the progress they 
were making, and in a few cases it was possible to note 
an improvement from day to day. The process is simple 
enough. The patient is directed to sit down and grasp 
the hands of a profoundly hypnotized subject, and Dr. 
Luys passes a heavy magnetized bar of steel up and down 
both sitters' bodies, especially pressing on the cardiac and 
epigastric areas. A shiver is seen to pass through the 
hypnotized subject's frame, and he begins to complain of 
suffering from the same symptoms as the patient has 
experienced. The doctor questions him as to the 
symptoms, and then assures him that they will be cured 
and not return — much in the same way as the hypnotizer 
deals with his patients. In the meantime the patient 
looks on and sees the transferee writhing in his pains, 
and imitating his voice, gait, gestures and demeanour 
generally. If he is an imaginative person, it is quite 
likely that he feels better from witnessing this vicarious 
suffering. When the doctor thinks it is enough, he tells 


the subject to wake up and to feel no more pain, and as 
a matter of fact he does not remember on waking what 
he has gone through in the somnambulic state, but goes 
away feeling apparently none the worse,* and gratified by 
a gratuity from the patient whose disease he has shared. 
Dr. Luys contends that the subject not only shares the 
disease, but partakes of the personality of the patient, 
and demonstrates this by showing how a female sitter will 
assume a masculine voice and carriage when sitting for a 
male patient, and will complain of the beard being pulled 
if one approaches the face too closely. It is not a little 
surprising in this age of science to find a man of Dr. Luys' 
undoubted honesty and attainments seriously upholding 
practice of this kind. One is taken back to the time of 
Perkins and his metallic tractors to find a parallel for 
what is now taking place in Paris ; and be it remembered 
that remarkable cures did follow the application of 
Perkins' instruments and of the wooden imitations which 
the physicians of Bath tested in their hospital practice.* 

What, then, is the explanation of the results which 
follow such methods of treatment ? It is summed up in 
the word ' suggestion.' The imagination is profoundly 
affected by the hope and expectation of cure, and this in 
itself is sufficient to bring about a healthy change in the 
hypochondriacal, hysterical, and malades imaginaires. But 
among the patients we questioned were some who suffered 
from well-defined organic disease ; one gentleman affected 
with aortic insufficiency assured me that since his visits 
to Dr. Luys he had recovered his appetite, had slept 
well, and been able to walk uphill and upstairs, whereas 
previously he had been sleepless, without appetite, and 
almost bedridden. A man suffering from paralysis 
agitans declared he felt a different being, but as far as 
we could see there was no lessening of his tremor, though 
the young woman who acted as his transfer reproduced 
his disordered movements most faithfully. It is evident 

* ' Influence of the Imagination in Health and Disease,' by 
Dr. Hack Tuke. 


that in nearly all diseases there exist symptoms — often 
the most painful part of the malady — of functional nervous 
origin, and it is these symptoms which are largely met by 
hypnotic suggestion and other treatments which appeal 
to the imagination or the subconscious mind. I consider 
that it is the duty of a physician to relieve suffering in 
an}- way, as long as it is not immoral or hurtful ; but no 
one visiting La Charite Hospital can say that the treat- 
ment by transfer, as practised there, is free from terrible 
abuses. It is a sad sight to see to what a deplorable 
condition of mental instability and inanity the unfor- 
tunate subjects have been reduced by continual hypno- 
tization and experiments. Of course, the experiments 
carried out on such subjects, and under such hysterical 
conditions as exist in Dr. Luys' clinique, are valueless 
from a scientific point of view ; and the phenomena he 
obtains from the action of the magnet, different coloured 
balls, and with medicines at a distance, have been sought 
for in vain by other investigators. I have found my 
subjects perfectly insusceptible to the magnet, until I 
have told two or three of them that contact with it will 
always produce pain in the part touched ; henceforth 
they have always realized my suggestion, and complain 
bitterly when touched by it, or by any cold metallic 
substance. When one considers that the personality of 
a subject in the profounder hypnotic states is in complete 
abeyance, and that his mind is a blank page, to be written 
on at the dictation of the hypnotizer, we see how absolutely 
necessary it is to guard against conscious and unconscious 
simulation, and how utterly Dr. Luys' experiments are 
wanting in the only conditions which could render them 
of any value. 

As bearing upon the above remarks, I may state that I 
purposely asked Dr. Luys if the magnet influenced all 
somnambulists in the same way, and he answered that it 
did. If he had been more cautious, and had replied that 
only some subjects were sensitive, one would have been 
more inclined to believe in the genuineness of his results. 



The only way of testing the so-called magnetic sense 
described by Reichenbach is by the electro - magnet, 
which can be ' made ' or ' unmade ' instantaneously in a 
manner impossible for the subject to guess by ordinary 
sensuous impressions. The inquirer will find in the first 
volume of The Proceedings of the Society for Psychical 
Research a report of some experiments made to determine 
the existence of this sense. The experiments were carried 
out under rigorous scientific conditions, and proved that 
certain persons do possess the faculty of perceiving certain 
effects from the poles of an electro-magnet when in action. 
But from this to the propositions laid down by Luys is a 
very long step. 

The use of the magnet in medical practice is nothing 
new. Hippocrates believed in its virtues, and recom- 
mended its employment in painful diseases (Laycock). 
Throughout the Middle Ages its efficacy was a matter of 
general belief, and Mesmer and his followers saw an 
analogy between animal and telluric magnetism. It has 
been left for Charcot and his school to claim physical 
reactions from the use of the magnet in our own time. 
Whether such reactions depend upon pure suggestion, as 
asserted by Bernheim, or do really proceed from some 
magnetic influence, is a question which can only be 
decided by very careful experiments. In my own experi- 
ence I have seen nothing to warrant the supposition that 
there is any special quality in the magnet. Krafft-Ebing 
found that lima Szandor was affected by the approach of 
any metal which she believed to be a magnet, exactly as 
she had been by the real magnet. However, Charcot gets 
transference of paralysis and other functional troubles in 
hysterical subjects from one side to the other, by passing 
the magnet over the parts — a proceeding which causes 
Sir W. Gowers to write : ' The phenomena of transfer (of 
the genuineness of which, in spite of its rarity out of France, 
there can be no doubt) show that there must exist an 
intimate connection between the sensory centres of the 
two hemispheres, so that the restoration of functional 


action in a part of the inhibited centre is accompanied 
by an arrest of action in the corresponding part of the 
centre on the opposite side. The validity of this inference 
is independent of the mode by which the phenomena are 
effected, or of the exact functional change in which they 
consist' {op. cit., p. 934). 

I don't know whether Dr. Luys has jet applied his treatment to the 
correction of moral ills. Historians tell us how in the Middle Ages 
young princes were provided with ' whipping-boys,' whose office it 
was to bear the penalty incurred by the prince's fault, but from which 
his august rank was held to shield him. We are told that Edward VI. 
was of so sensitive a nature that in his case this punishment by 
deputy was most efficacious. 

Note 14. — Christian Science Healing. 

As far as I understand the method of healing called 
Christian Science, and similar modes of treatment which, as 
Sir J. Crichton-Browne told us at Leeds, fall legitimately 
within the scope of medical inquiry, I believe that the 
cures they have effected in certain neuropathic conditions 
depend upon the same factors as we have been considering. 

Auto-suggestion is a proved exciter of disease and ill- 
health, and it is easily conceivable that when directed into 
healthful instead of morbific channels, it may prove a 
valuable moral and curative agent. 

It is certain that most of those who derive benefit from 
healthily directed self-consciousness are capable of doing 
themselves an infinity of harm by morbid introspection if 
left to themselves. 

If a hypochondriacal or nervous invalid can by any 
means, its name matters not, be induced to look upon 
himself as healthy and strong, instead of as diseased and 
weak, a great point is gained, and as he has grown into 
the miserable creature he imagined himself to be, so it is 
possible that under different conditions of thought he may 
realize in his own person some of the perfection upon 
which he fixes his aspirations. But we must remember 
that reverie is apt to pass into brooding, and introspection 
into hysteria, unless very carefully watched. We know 



also that ecstatics of all times and creeds have succeeded 
in becoming careless and unconscious of bodily pain and 
discomfort, but that this deadening of sensation has not 
saved them from wasting with disease, and dying from 
exposure and neglect. 

Practically, the contention of the 'Christian Scientist' is 
that he can bring about spontaneously what the physician 
certainly succeeds in effecting by the aid of hypnotism, viz., 
the inhibition of some centres, and the dynamo-genesis of 
others. Thus, he will tell you that he can become uncon- 
scious of the pain of toothache by determinedly denying 
its existence and fixing his attention on other things. 

He says ' mind is all,' and that the body takes its shape 
from it as the overcoat does from the body. A flippant 
American critic has observed, apropos of this simile, that 
a man cannot raise himself off the ground by pulling on 
his own boot-straps. 

The system has been brought lately before the public 
owing to the deaths of two prominent men who were 
treated by ' Christian Science ' healers. The death of 
Mr. Harold Frederick, the novelist, whilst under the care 
of a lady practitioner, was followed by a coroner's inquest, 
and the healer was committed for trial on the charge of 
manslaughter. She was, however, acquitted, and the sect 
still carries on a very active propaganda. 

An interesting exposure of some of the most objection- 
able features of the movement is supplied by Miss Alice 
Feilding's book entitled ' Faith Healing and Christian 
Science,' London, 1899. 

The following case, which has been recently reported 
to me, illustrates one of the dangers of ' Christian 
Science ' : 

Captain B , an officer living at Aldershot, went out 

cycling with a friend who was a firm believer and wanted 
to convert him. Captain B after a mile or two com- 
plained of pain in the abdomen and wished to return, but 
his friend assured him that it was only ' mortal mind,' and 
that he must deny the pain and it would disappear. So 


the ride continued, and at the end Captain B was in 

a very prostrate and painful condition. A doctor was 
called in, who diagnosed peritonitis, and the patient had 
a severe illness. 

Failure to understand the gravity of the pathological 
condition in this case nearly cost the patient his life ; but 
according to Mrs. Eddy, the arch-priest of the cult, all 
diseases are the result of error of thought, and are to be 
treated on the same principle ; medical diagnosis is but a 
pandering to error and ' mortal mind,' and therefore to be 
severely discouraged. There is a great deal of half-truth 
mixed up in the absurdities of this creed, and we all know 
that this mixture makes falsehood the more dangerous. 

Unlike the ' peculiar people,' who often figure in the 
courts as having contributed to their children's deaths 
by refusing to call in medical assistance in illness, the 
' Christian Scientists ' appeal to the wealthy and cultured 
classes both in America, the country of its birth, and in 
England, and it is quite extraordinary the vogue it has 
acquired among the upper classes. Some people like to 
be told that they are gods and possess all potentiality 
within themselves; but the movement is ephemeral, and 
only touched upon here from its psychical interest. 

I have frequently succeeded, following Dr. de Lagrave's 
hints, in awakening at a predetermined moment, and no 
doubt anyone with a little practice will be able to do the 
same thing ; but I imagine that the other effects of auto- 
suggestion which he relates are only to be attained by 
hysterical or neuropathic subjects. 

Such experiments afford additional proof of the correct- 
ness of Bernheim's theory, that in hypnotism it is the 
patient who hypnotizes himself, and that it is the evoca- 
tion of his own forces (under the stimulus of suggestion) 
which constitutes the curative agency in the treatment. 
Surely this is a better and nobler conception of the power 
in every way than that current before Braid's time, and 
still held by unscientific ' magnetizers,' which would have 
us believe in a subtle fluid passing from operator to subject. 


Dr. Byrom Bramwell, speaking of the important part 
voluntary effort plays in cases of paralysis, instances that 
of the late Mr. Horatio Ross, a celebrated sportsman.* 
' When some eighty-two years of age, Mr. Ross was 
attacked with hemiplegia which was, perhaps, embolic. 
He was seen by a distinguished neurologist in London, 
who, considering the advanced age of the patient and the 
very serious nature of the attack, gave a very unfavourable 
opinion, saying that he would never use his arm again. 
Shortly afterwards he came to Edinburgh and placed 
himself under the care of Dr. Foulis, who had previously 
attended him. When he consulted Dr. Foulis, the paralysis 
of the arm, though not absolute, was very great ; the leg, 
as is usually the case, had to a much greater extent 

' Dr. Foulis, who is a firm believer in the beneficial 
effects which frequently repeated voluntary efforts produce 
in cases of paralysis, explained to Mr. Ross the import- 
ance of making frequent and systematic efforts to throw 
the paralyzed muscles into voluntary contraction. Mr. 
Ross, who was a man of iron will as well as (in his 
younger days) of iron muscles, fully appreciated the 
rationale of this method of treatment, and set himself 
diligently and with firm determination to carry it into 
effect. Many times every day he endeavoured to perform 
each of the individual movements which the hand, fore- 
arm, and arm are capable of making. The paralyzed 
muscles soon began to regain some power, and each day, 
and almost all day, he diligently practised some form of 
muscular movement. I was asked to see him some two 
months after he had commenced this treatment, with the 
object of advising whether electricity would be beneficial. 
He had then regained considerable movement in the 
paralyzed arm and much more in the leg. He continued 
to practise his muscular gymnastics, and in the course of 
three or four months he had practically recovered ; he 
could, in fact, make such good use of his paralyzed arm 
* ' Studies in Clinical Medicine,' vol. i., No. 6. 


that, on the following 12th of August, he was able to 
get on to the moor and actually to shoot several brace of 

Dr. Bramwell attributes Mr. Ross's rapid recovery to 
the exercise of the will-power, as each voluntary effort 
tends to act as a stimulus which travels along the 
damaged nerve tract and forms a path for motor 

In support of this theory he reminds us that after facial 
paralysis the orbicularis palpebrarum is the first muscle to 
recover its tone, on account, he thinks, of its great func- 
tional activity. In consequence of the immense number 
of times each day the reflex stimulus from the conjunctiva 
— inclination to wink — is applied, the nerve tract is con- 
tinually being, stimulated by impulses which endeavour to 
force their way through the lesion, and this repeated 
stimulation leads to rapid repair of the damaged nerve 

The important part will -effort and concentration of 
purpose play in muscular development and renovation of 
tissue is seen in Swedish gymnastics, and in the method 
practised in America under the name of psycho-physical 
culture. We have much to learn of hypnotism as a 
stimulator of effort and arouser of the will ; it is in 
this direction the power should be used, and not as a 
supplanter or enfeebler of individuality. 

Note 15. — Hypnotism and Crime. 

Recent events, and especially the Gouffe trial in Paris, 
have brought the question of the employment of hypnotism 
for criminal purposes prominently before the legal and 
medical professions, and a word on the subject will not 
be out of place here. It is very fully discussed by Dr. 
Liegeois in his book, already referred to, and Mr. Taylor- 
Innes, of Edinburgh, has treated it at some length in 
an article in the Contemporary Review for October, 1890. 
Mr. Brodie-Innes states the case in the Juridical Review 
for January, 1891. Dr. Kingsbury has written an able 


criticism on the former article in the Nineteenth Century 
for January, 1891, in which he throws great doubt on 
the possibility of criminal acts being suggested and 
carried out in the hypnotic or post-hypnotic state ; and 
his arguments, so far as they go, are conclusive. Charcot, 
also, and his school discredit the idea that hypnotism can 
be made the vehicle for criminal suggestion, and contend 
that the subject was perfectly aware of the harmless 
nature of the act he was committing when, in obedience 
to Dr. Liegeois, he seized a paper-knife on waking, stole 
to his wife's side, and stabbed her to the heart. He knew 
it was acting, and did his part well, that is all — so explains 
Charcot. The same thing applies to other test criminal 
actions, as, for instance, the theft of jewellery, or the dis- 
charge of a revolver loaded with blank cartridge, either at 
the patient's own breast or at a stranger's. The subject 
knew about the trick, and the experiment was simply a 
laboratory one, which would fail if put to a real test. 
We here see a curious circumstance, and one which, to 
my mind, is strong testimony to the thorough -going 
honesty of the Nancy school. They are engaged in 
strenuously maintaining that in hypnotism the evil- 
disposed have a weapon which will give them absolute 
power over their agents, and insure the accomplishment 
of crimes without any risk to themselves. What conten- 
tion could possibly be more fatal to the extended employ- 
ment of hypnotism which they advocate, or more certain 
to arouse popular feeling against the treatment ? I con- 
sider that the question should be met with perfect frank- 
ness, and agree with Mr. Brodie-Innes that lawyers 
should seriously study the possibilities of hypnotism. 
In approaching the matter, it is necessary to bear in 
mind a few points in order to be able to arrive at a 
proper conclusion. In the first place, only a small pro- 
portion of the population are sufficiently affected by 
hypnotism to be reduced to automatism or powerless- 
ness. In a large number even of these the loss of will 
and self-control is not sufficient to render the subject 


absolutely helpless, and in many cases where there is 
apparent helplessness personal violence or criminal sug- 
gestions would restore complete consciousness and the 
power of resistance. It is difficult, and often impossible, 
for even a skilful medical man to judge of the precise 
depth of sleep, and so pronounced a somnambulist as 
Mrs. H often retains a degree of latent conscious- 
ness, and remembers subsequently things I have said to 
her in the hypnotic state ; but no doubt criminal assaults 
might be committed on women while in the deepest sleep, 
and in some cases there would be no subsequent recollec- 
tion of the circumstance. Here we have exactly analogous 
abuses of chloroform and other drugs, and the criminality 
should in each case be considered the same. The chief 
point of interest is not whether hypnotism may be used 
as an anaesthetic for the performance of brutal outrage, 
but whether it may be used with any prospect of success 
as the vehicle for criminal suggestion. I believe that, 
under certain circumstances, it might be so used, and I 
here give my reasons for the belief. Hypnotism acts 
chiefly, as we have seen, by immensely increasing the 
capacity for receiving, and the desire to act upon, sug- 
gestion. It is this property which we make use of in 
dealing with drunkards and morphinomaniacs, and our 
suggestions of abstinence and self-control are received 
and acted upon in proportion to the depth of sleep 
attained and the natural receptivity of the patient. I 
have, however, seen suggestion curative in a case of 
chronic drunkenness where the influence of hypnotism 
was barely discoverable, and I have seen it fail where 
somnambulism was induced. In the first case the 
patient's desire was for cure, and the natural force of 
moral suggestions had to be but slightly increased in 
order to obtain success ; whereas in the latter instance 
the patient had no real desire to give up his bad habit, 
and the suggestions found no soil in which to take root. 
I see no reason for supposing that a somewhat similar 
result would not follow criminal suggestions. It would 


be vain to make criminal suggestions to the disciplined 
and moral man, for he would either wake up at once or 
would ignore them ; but it would be an easy task to 
corrupt the naturally weak and ill-disposed. If, as has 
already been said, one told a sincere teetotaler that on 
waking he was to drink a glass of brandy, it is certain 
that the suggestion would fail, no matter what was the 
degree of sleep induced; but the half-hearted abstainer 
might perhaps succumb, just as he would yield to the 
pertinacious solicitation of his ordinary companions, 
because the wish to abstain was not strongly grounded 
or an essential part of his individuality.* Dr. Norman 

° This theory is borne out by some experiments made by Professor 
Lombroso, of Turin (' Studi su 1'Hypnotismo,' Turin, 1886). He 
hypnotized two medical students of good character, and suggested to 
them that they were to steal some articles of value. One of them woke 
up crying, ' No, I will not be a thief ;' and the other, after much oppo- 
sition, did seize the things, but almost immediately threw them from 
him. On the other hand, the same physician found that a hysterical 
young woman of doubtful character received with evident satisfaction 
the suggestion that she was a thief or a brigand, but resisted the 
assertion that she was a savant or moralist, and declined to give a 
disquisition on the beauty of virtue. I have never gone so far as to 
suggest criminal acts to my subjects, and I should regard such a course 
as very objectionable ; but I have suggested lines of conduct opposed 
to the disposition of the patient, and I have generally seen the order 
ignored or very partially obeyed. For instance, I suggested to a 
brother Mason whom I had hypnotized some scores of times, and who 
is one of the best subjects I have ever seen, that he should tell the 
secrets of the craft. He became extremely disturbed, and vigorously 
protested that nothing would induce him to break his oath in such a 
manner. This patient was so susceptible to my suggestions that if I 
told him during the hypnotic state that his tie — a red one — was green, 
he would accept the suggestion and stoutly maintain on waking that 
it was green. Another patient, who is also a profound somnambulist, 
though a man of great muscular strength and keen intellect, carries 
out ordinary post-hypnotic suggestions with accuracy, but when the 
suggested act is contrary to his volition, he argues the point and does 
not execute it. For example, I tell him that five minutes after waking 
he is to take a pin from a pincushion and stick it into the curtain. He 
does so in a somewhat shamefaced manner, and perhaps says after- 
wards that he does not know why he did it, but that he felt he must. 
But when I tell him to pay me a visit at two o'clock on Saturday — the 
time when he pays his men — he tells me that the thing is impossible, 
and I am unable to persuade him to consent (see also Dr. Forel's 
case, p. 172). 

Ur. Kingsbury was able to demonstrate this point before the meet- 
ing of the British Medical Association in 1890, for his subject, a 
Manchester merchant, refused to execute any order opposed to his 
natural temperament. 


Kerr's objection to hypnotism, that, if it enables the 
physician to cure a drunkard, it will enable a scoundrel 
to debauch a sober man, is, I hold, extremely fallacious. 

It is my opinion, and also my experience, that the power 
in us for good is more potent than that for evil, and that 
it would be verv much harder to make the good man do 
wrong than to influence the bad man for good. But hyp- 
notism acts by increasing the normal impressionability to 
suggestion ; and as a moral person of unstable character 
may be corrupted in time by vicious surroundings and evil 
influences, so, I believe, the same person could be more 
quickly and surely corrupted by evil suggestions made to 
him while in the hypnotic state. I have no doubt that 
many of the subjects taken about with them by travelling 
showmen have entirely lost all individuality, and have be- 
come passive instruments in the hands of their employers. 
To reduce a fellow-creature to such a condition is, I hold, 
one of the greatest offences which can be committed against 
the dignity of humanity: for the position of the unfortunate 
victim is worse a hundredfold than that of the captive who 

In the Dublin Journal of Medical Science, May, 189 1 , Sir F. Cruise 
relates how he saw Dr. Bernheim endeavour to extract a man's political 
opinions while in a state of profound hypnosis. The patient declined 
to tell them, and, folding his arms, said, ' C'est mon affaire.' ' What a 
remarkable contrast to the awkward confessions occasionally volun- 
teered under the influence of chloroform or ether !' is Dr. Cruise's 
comment on this incident. On the other hand, Liebeault records how, 
by telling a young girl that he was her father confessor, he succeeded 
in obtaining her confession. The result must depend upon the 
patient's disposition and character. For instance, I told one hypnotic 
patient that she was to resist my suggestions, and yet she was unable 
to do so, whereas another patient not only resisted my suggestions, 
but awoke when I insisted upon them. In the debate on hypnotism 
at the Edinburgh meeting of the British Medical Association. 1898, 
Dr. Mercier asked if a hypnotized butcher might not be made to 
murder a man by being told that the victim was a sheep, and that he 
had to cut its throat in the ordinary exercise of his trade. I think the 
answer is in the affirmative. Bernheim made an experiment of this 
nature when he made an honest woman steal another patient's watch. 
At first she indignantly refused, saying she was not a thief : but 
when Bernheim assured her it was her own watch which the other 
woman had purloined, and that she was therefore only regaining her 
own property, she took it without further scruple. It seems to me 
better to face a danger and take steps to combat it than to deny or 
ignore it. 


has only to submit to material slavery. It is witnessing 
degrading performances, and confusing the travesty with 
rational hypnotic treatment, which makes many well- 
meaning people look with horror on the present spread 
of the knowledge of hypnotism. There is a simple means 
of doing away with much of the danger which may attend 
its popularization. Let it be regarded as a medical pro- 
cedure, to be had recourse to only for definite therapeutic 
purposes by qualified medical men, or as a method of real 
scientific research in the hands of savants. Let the public 
be made acquainted with the dangers which attend its use 
by improper persons, and let its employment in public for 
purposes of gain or mere amusement be sternly forbidden 
in England, as it is in other countries. 

I do not think the ordinary criminal will ever make use 
of hypnotism ; it is too tedious and uncertain a process. 
There have been accounts in the papers of various crimes 
alleged to have been committed by its means. Some boys 
in Pesth were a little time ago stated to have robbed their 
masters' tills in obedience to hypnotic suggestion, and an 
ingenious newspaper correspondent was quite sure that 
the Whitechapel murders were the work of someone 
acting under hypnotic influence ! My opinion is that 
the malefactor, unfortunately, finds plenty of material 
ready to his hand without hypnotism, and that the weak 
and criminal actions of bad men and women are capable 
of a much simpler explanation. 

Supposing that a hypnotizer got absolute control over 
a subject, and rendered him so sensitive to his suggestions 
that he could induce him to commit thefts and other 
crimes, and at the same time be unconscious of the 
prompting which had impelled him, could the subject be 
hypnotized by another person, and made to give up the 
secret ? I believe he could after a longer or shorter 
period, and that the real criminal would then be dis- 
covered. Moreover, the person acting under controlling 
suggestion would almost certainly perform the action in 
a manner different to his ordinary behaviour. He would 


appear more or less dazed, and would probably make either 
no effort or only a very inadequate one to escape capture. 

In the event of a criminal action being committed 
through hypnotic suggestion, expert evidence will be 
forthcoming to completely establish the case. 

I think, however, a false plea of having acted under 
hvpnotic compulsion is a much more probable event than 
the perpetration of crime through such agency. It is not 
unlikely that we shall have persons demanding blackmail 
for alleged felonious hypnotization, as we have had from 
time to time similar accusations of administering chloro- 

The alleged dangers of hypnotism may be ranged, then, 
under three heads : As they affect the morals, pocket, and 
health of the subject. 

First, those to which the patient is liable while actually 
in the hypnotic trance. These embrace crimes of violence, 
and especially indecent assault or violation. The use of 
chloroform is attended with the same risk, and criminal 
reports show that there is real danger of this abuse. I 
venture to think that there is less danger on this score 
from hypnotism than from drugs, on account of the 
comparatively small number of persons who are sus- 
ceptible to such a degree as to become anaesthetic and 

The second danger is a much more serious one, and 
if the allegations made against the abuse of mesmerism 
were true, they went far to justify the attitude the pro- 
fession adopted towards it fifty years ago. It was alleged 
that persons became absolutely under the control of the 
mesmerist, and that such control could be, and on many 

* It looks as if the plea of having acted under hypnotic suggestion 
is to become a matter of course in French causes cclebres. The papers 
have been filled with the reports of a sensational trial in Algeria. A 
Madame Weiss was found guilty of attempting to poison her husband, 
and she pleaded that she had acted under the control of her lover, 
who had hypnotized her, and whose suggestions she was unable to 
resist. The woman was thoroughly degraded, and her accomplice 
was an unscrupulous villain ; but the whole affair was a common- 
place crime enough, and easily explicable without calling in the aid of 


occasions was, exercised, not only during the mesmeric 
sleep, but subsequently, for purposes of immorality and 
to extort money. It was even believed that this power 
could be exercised at a distance, and against the will of 
the subject. 

More evidence of the possibility of the operator being 
able to influence the subject at a distance is still wanted, 
but the experiments of Professor Pierre Janet, of Havre, 
and Professor Liegeois, of Nancy, seem to show that 
under special circumstances and in rare instances a 
subject who has been hypnotized a great number of 
times by the same operator may be sent to sleep by the 
hypnotizer exerting his will from a distance. I have come 
to this conclusion with extreme unwillingness, for it seems 
to open up the possibility of a man or woman being re- 
duced to a state of complete mental and moral slavery.* 

* Examples of this are given in the works of Liegeois, Lie"beault, 
and Bourru and Burot. Liebeault describes a series of experiments 
with Camille, a very hysterical subject well known to those who 
have visited Nancy. Camille, unconscious of the experiment, was 
in Dr. Liebeault's garden, and Dr. Liegeois in the dispensary. The 
distance between them was 29 metres, and subject and operator 
were concealed from one another by a thick hedge. Dr. Lidgeois 
simply fixed his mind on the idea of making Camille sleep. In eight 
minutes she was actually asleep, and it was found that she was en 
rapport with the Professor and with no one else. He had hypnotized 
this subject a great number of times, and the experiment failed when 
Dr. Neilson endeavoured to repeat it under the same conditions. 
Dr. Beaunis, however, who had also frequently hypnotized her, was 
also able to send her to sleep from a distance (Liebeault, op. at., 
p. 275). 

Drs. Gibert and Janet experimented on Mde. B , at Havre, in 

the presence of several competent witnesses. They succeeded in 
sending her to sleep by mental suggestion when she was some kilo- 
metres from them, and ignorant of what was going on. But they 
failed to influence her to commit definite acts. They could also 
awaken her by mental suggestion from a distance (Bourru et Burot, 
' La Suggestion Mentale,' p. 160). 

I have several times made a similar experiment on two or three of 
my most susceptible subjects, and have tried to hypnotize them by 
directing my thoughts on the purpose in view at various distances, 
but I have never noticed any effect. While, therefore, admitting 
its possibility, I feel convinced that the phenomenon is very rare. 
Hypnotism here, as in other directions, merely intensifies existing 
states. The researches of the Society for Psychical Research have com- 
pletely proved the reality of telepathic influence, and hypnotism, by 
withdrawing the mind from the life of relation, intensifies the sensitive- 
ness of those few persons who are susceptible to telepathic impressions. 


I believe such dependence can only be possible in cases 
where the hypnotist has dominated the same subject a 
very great number of times, and then only in very ex- 
ceptional cases. We have the consolatory legal maxim 
dc minimis non curat lex, but I think attention should be 
drawn to the possibility of such a thing with a view to 
averting its occurrence. 

The Nancy theory of the all-powerfulness of post- 
hypnotic suggestion introduces an additional element of 
danger into the practice of hypnotism, and if Professor 
Liegeois's ideas were justified, they would, I think, afford 
a very grave argument against the popularization of the 
treatment. But most observers regard these ideas as 
exaggerated and somewhat fanciful, and the dangers 
opened up by them as chimerical. Still, the fact remains 
that there are a few persons in every thousand who are 
so influenced by suggestion as to be incapable of resisting 
the orders of the hypnotist even after long intervals of 
time, and who can be made to execute these orders as of 
their own initiative, and without being conscious of their 

Occupying a somewhat middle ground between these two 
dangers is the risk of a person being made to sign cheques, 
forge documents, make promises, etc., while in a state of 
lucid somnambulism. Thus, Dr. De Watteville easily 
persuaded the ' Soho sleeper' to sign an I.O.U. But 
this danger does not appear to me at all so serious as that 
arising from post-hypnotic suggestion, for the subject 
would be able on waking to recognise the fact that he 
had been fradulently dealt with, and to offer opposition 
subsequently. Moreover, the danger of such fradulent 
proceedings is not confined to hypnotism, for signatures 
and promises have been extracted from persons through 
the instrumentality of intoxicating and stupefying drugs, 
and the law knows how to deal with such abuses. 

The third alleged danger is happily non-existent. When 
hypnotism is carefully employed for therapeutic purposes, 
injury to the subject's physical, moral, or mental health is 


never caused. That careless and ignorant tampering with 
hypnotism is dangerous has been sufficiently shown by the 
cases I have cited, in which grave nervous disturbances 
have been proved to follow its illegitimate employment 
{vide p. 115). There is still another danger attending its 
popularization which medical men will do well to be on 
their guard against, viz., blackmailing and false accusa- 
tions, for they may be accused of improper conduct in 
respect to hypnotism, just as they are with regard to 

It is to be hoped that this possibility, while making them 
very careful, will not prevent them recommending the use 
of hypnotism when the patient's condition is such as to 
benefit from it. 

Note 16. — The Hypnotic Will Case. 

In July, 1898, there was a sensational law case in which I 
was subpoenaed to give evidence. Dr. Kingsbury, of Black- 
pool, was appointed executor and residuary legatee under 
the will of an old lady patient. The son as heir-at-law 
disputed the will on the ground of undue influence, and it 
was alleged that the doctor had hypnotized the patient, 
and by hypnotic suggestion had got her to make the will 
in his favour. The-charge entirely broke down, and Dr. 
Kingsbury won the verdict. 

It came out in the evidence that Mrs. Howard was on 
bad terms with most of her family, including the plaintiff, 
that she was greatly attached to Dr. Kingsbury, and that 
he had been very devoted in his attendance on her for more 
than ten years, and was her confidential adviser in all her 
difficulties. They used to talk a good deal about hypnotism, 
in which she knew he was much interested, and in 1894 
she asked him to try to hypnotize her, as she suffered from 

Dr. Kingsbury consented to try, though he told her he 
did not think hers a suitable case. He was seeing her 
daily, and every day for three weeks, in the presence of her 
maid, he endeavoured to influence her hypnotically. But 


the attempt failed and he fell back upon ordinary treat- 

Mr. Carson, Q.C., laid great stress upon the number of 
times Dr. Kingsbury hypnotized his patient, and the jury 
was asked to imagine the old lady lying helpless under 
his suggestions. Sir Edward Clarke, however, was able 
to put a different complexion on the matter, and the jury 
decided for Dr. Kingsbury. 

In this case it was evident that hypnotism was introduced 
to prejudice the jury, and it is quite possible that had Dr. 
Kingsbury's position been less established at Blackpool he 
might have lost the suit. An interesting feature of the 
case was the evidence of Sir William Broadbent, who 
was called by Dr. Kingsbury. He was a member of the 
Hypnotic Committee of the British Medical Association, 
whose report is given on p. 372, and he expressed in court 
his continued adherence to the opinions therein set forth. 
Under French law the legacy would have been invalid, for 
in France medical men are not permitted to benefit from 
wills of persons under their care. 

I have met with two cases which show the caution necessary in 
dealing with hypnotism. Strangely enough, I was consulted in both 
instances on the same day. The first case was that of a young lady 
of good education and position. She thought herself the victim of a 
plot hatched by two young men of her acquaintance to influence her 
telepathically ; and she was under the impression that they could at 
any time direct her thoughts and actions from a distance. Though 
she had never been hypnotized, she supposed that hypnotism had 
something to do with it. 

I found her, like all persons who suffer from a fixed idea, very diffi- 
cult to hypnotize, but after six attempts I succeeded in inducing a 
state of mental receptivity, with inability to open the eyes. I suggested 
that she would become insusceptible to telepathic influences, and 
would recover her self-confidence and spirits. She almost imme- 
diately began to feel stronger in mind and less hysterical, and in three 
weeks she went home thoroughly convinced that in future she was 
proof against such influences. Suggestion alone did not suffice to 
remove the false ideas, for several medical men and others had tried 
argument in vain. The idea was too deep-seated to be stirred by 
ordinary methods, and from the way things were tending, I have little 
doubt but that the patient would very soon have drifted into melan- 
cholia or dementia. Her suspicion that hypnotism had something to 
do with her symptoms is interesting. There is no doubt but that as 
the subject comes more into vogue we shall find a great number of 
persons will imagine themselves victims of this, to them, mysterious 



agency. The electric telegraph and telephone have been credited by 
scores of insane persons with being the source of their troubles, and 
hypnotism is a very likely thing for the mental patient on the look-out 
for a delusion to take up. 

The other case is more serious because, unfortunately, it has not, so 
far, been found possible to correct the evil. A lady who has for years 
carried on reformatory work in a Midland town was greatly impressed 
by the evidence she had heard of the success of hypnotism in curing 
the craving for drink, and instead of procuring the services of a 
medical man, she experimented on some of her girls herself. Girls of 
this class are notoriously susceptible to hypnotism, and she found no 
difficulty in sending five out of the seven she operated on into som- 
nambulism. The result surpassed her expectation, and three of the 
five girls seem to have been absolutely cured, and to have remained 
perfectly sober ever since. Two of the others, influenced by bad com- 
panions, have turned upon the unfortunate lady, accuse hrr of having 
hypnotized them for immoral purposes, and have made the situation 
altogether so uncomfortable that she will probably have to give up her 
work and quit the town. I have hypnotized many women of the same 
class in institutions, and have never noticed anything peculiar ; but 
this lady tells me that on each occasion she hypnotized those girls 
they awoke in a somewhat dazed state, and were under the impression 
that they were with their former companions and in their old haunts. 

=£ ^ ^ =fc =£ + 

As the question of the State regulation of the use of hypnotism may 
at any moment become a burning one. I here append the draft of an 
Act which was approved by the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine, 
and discussed by the Belgian Parliament in 1891. It is now, I believe, 
the law of the land. 

A tons presents et a venir, Saint. 
Sur la proposition de Notre Ministre de la Justice, 


Notre Ministre de la Justice est charge de presenter, en Notre nom. 
aux Chambres legislatives, le projet de loi dont la teneur suit : 

Article i. 

Quiconque aura donne" en spectacle au public une personne hypno- 
tisee par lui-meme ou par autrui, sera puni d : un emprisonnement de 
quinze jours a six mois et d'une amende de vingt-six francs a mille 

Article 2. 

Quiconque, n'etant pas qualifie pour exercer l'art de gue'rir, aura 
hypnotise une personne qui n'avait pas atteint 1'age de dix-huit ans 
accomplis ou n'etait pas saine d'esprit, sera puni d'un emprisonnement 
de quinze jours a. un an et d'une amende de vingt-six francs a mille 
francs, alors meme que la personne hypnotisee n'aurait pas ete donnee 
en spectacle au public. 


En cas de concours avec les infractions punies par les dispositions 
locales concernant Part de guerir, la peine prononcee par le present 
article sera seule appliquce. 

Article 3. 

Sera puni de la inclusion quiconque aura, avec une intention fraud- 
uleuse ou a dessein de nuire, fait ecrire ou signer par une personne 
hypnotisee un acte ou une piece cnon^ant une convention, des disposi- 
tions, un engagement, une decharge ou une declaration. La meme 
peine sera appliquce a celui que aura fait usage de l'acte ou de la piece. 

Donne' a Laeken, le I4me avril, 1S90.* 


Par le Roi : 

Le Ministrc de la Jus/ice, 

Jules LE JEUNE. 

* Juridical Review, January, 1S91. 

24 — 2 



The Committee, having completed such investigation of hypnotism 
as time has permitted, has to report that they have satisfied them- 
selves of the genuineness of the hypnotic state. No phenomena which 
have come under their observation, however, lend support to the 
theory of ' animal magnetism.' 

The experiments which have been carried out by members of the 
Committee have shown that this condition is attended by mental and 
physical phenomena, and that these differ widely in different cases. 

Among the mental phenomena are : altered consciousness, tempo- 
rary limitation of will-power, increased receptivity of suggestion from 
without, sometimes to the extent of producing passing delusions, 
illusions, and hallucinations, an exalted condition of the attention, and 
post-hypnotic suggestions. 

Among the physical phenomena are vascular changes (such as 
flushing of the face and altered pulse-rate), deepening of the respira- 
tions, increased frequency of deglutition, slight muscular tremors, in- 
ability to control suggested movements, altered muscular sense, 
anaesthesia, modified power of muscular contraction, catalepsy, and 
rigidity, often intense. It must, however, be understood that all these 
mental and physical phenomena are rarely present in any one case. 
The Committee take this opportunity of pointing out that the term 
'hypnotism' is somewhat misleading, inasmuch as sleep, as ordinarily 
understood, is not necessarily present. 

The Committee are of opinion that as a therapeutic agent hypnotism 
is frequently effective in relieving pain, procuring sleep, and alleviating 
many functional ailments. As to its permanent efficacy in the treat- 
ment of drunkenness, the evidence before the Committee is en- 
couraging, but not conclusive. Dangers in the use of hypnotism may 
arise from want of knowledge, carelessness, or intentional abuse, or 
from the too continuous repetition of suggestions in unsuitable cases. 

The Committee are of opinion that when used for therapeutic 
purposes its employment should be confined to qualified medical 
men, and that under no circumstances should female patients be 
hypnotized except in the presence of a relative or a person of their 
own sex. 

In conclusion, the Committee desire to express their strong dis- 
approbation of public exhibitions of hypnotic phenomena, and hope 
that some legal restriction will be placed upon them.* 

(Signed) F. Needham, Chairman. 

T. Outterson Wood, Hon. Sec. 

* British Medical Journal, July 29, 1893. 


Adolescent insanity, hypnotism 

in, 104 
Agoraphobia, case of, 321 
Aids to hypnotism, 174, 206 
Alcoholism and hypnotism, 84, 

174, 207, 280, 311 
Amateur hypnotism, 112 
Amaurosis, hypnotism in, 62 
Amenorrhcea, 61, 273, 305 
Amnesia in hypnosis, 71, J2> 
Anaemia, hypnotism in, 315 
Anaesthesia in hypnosis, 249 

by simple suggestion, 10, 74, 
Animal alkaloids, 235 

magnetism, 49-110, 174 
Animals, hypnotization of, 350 
Anodyne, hypnotism as an, 14 
Aphonia, cases or, 265, 284 
Arthur, Dr. R., 53 
Association of brain centres, 128 
Automatism, 38, 128, 134, 239 
Auto-suggestion, 21, 29, 81, 348 
Awaking, methods of, 49 
Azam, Professor, 94 

Barwise, Dr., 129, 179 

Beaunis, Professor, experiments 

of. 44, 56, 67 
Bernheim, Professor, 2, 53, 242 
Berillon, Dr., 5, 105 
Blisters caused by suggestion, 67, 

Braid, James, 6, 333 
Brain-fag, hypnotism in, 78, 293 
Bramwell, Dr. Milne, 5, 154, 203 
British Medical Association Com- 
mittee, report of, 372 
Brown- Scquard on inhibition, 14, 

Brunton, Sir T. Lauder, on in- 
hibition, 230 
Bulimia, case of, 184 

Cannabis indica, effects of, 133 
Catalepsy, hypnotic, 55 
Cataplexy, 151 
Centres, brain, 128 
Charcot's stages, 54, 254 
Children, hypnotizability of, 58, 

106, 161 
Chloroform and hypnotism, 10, 

76, 1 10, 189, 206 
Chorea, case of, 266 
Christian Science, 355 
Classification, Liebeault's, 341 
Concentration, effects of mental, 

Consciousness, conditions of, 244 
Constipation, case of, 300 
Contraction, case of hysterical, 

Co-operation of patient, 148, 157 
Creed, Dr., 5, 189, 200 
Criminal use of hypnotism, 162 
Crystal-gazing, 98 
Cruise, Sir F., 115 

Dangers of hypnotism, 60, 1 1 5, 365 
Death from imagination, 27 
Deferred suggestion, 71 
Definition of hypnotism, 53, 345 
Delbceufs theory, 23, 335 
Delusion of persecution, 168 
Dentistry, hypnotism in, 76, 198 
Detail, importance of, 156, 205 
Diarrhcea, case of chronic, 299 
Digestion, disorders of, 61 
Distance, hypnotizing from a, 366, 



Dipsomania and drunkenness, 

cases of, 210, 2S0, 31 1 
Double personality, 90, 97, 141 

brain, 91, 140 
Dreams, illness commencing in, 

suggested, 44, 348 
Dynamogenesis, 15, 226 
Dysmenorrhea, case of, 306 
Dyspepsia, cases of, 279, 305 

Ecstasy, case of, 14 

Echo voice, 240 

Education, hypnotism in, 104 

Energy, nerve, 53, 226 

Enuresis, cases of, 273, 303, 

3 2 3 
Epilepsy and hypnotism, 177 

cases of, 178, 286, 290 
Euthanasia, hypnotism in, 200 
Exhibitions of hypnotism, ill, 

Expectant attention, 124 

Failures, 154, 323 
Fascination, method of, 162 
Fear and fright, effects of, 20, 26, 


Felida X , case of, 94 

Felkin, Dr., 4, 205 

Forel, Professor, 3, 87, 172 

Free-will and hypnotism, 105, 

Function and mental states, 19, 

32, 82, 224 

General practice, hypnotism in, 
62, 187, 325 

Genito-urinary diseases, hypno- 
tism in, 186 

Gowers, Sir W., 26, 248, 354 

Habits, bad, treated by sugges- 
tion, 105, 183, 320 
nerve, 229 
Hack Tuke, Dr., 9, 107 
Haemorrhage by suggestion, 68 
Hallucinations, hypnotic, 71, 192 

negative, 339 
Headache, cases of, 279, 298 
Heart disease, cases of, 302, 325 
Heidenhain, Professor, 2, 219 
Heredity, hypnotism correction 

of, 105 
Hibernation and lethargy, 261 

Highest centres, action of, 239 
Hugging one's disease, 188 
Hyperesthesia in hypnosis, 56 
Hyperidrosis, cases of, 204 
Hypnogenic zones, 228 
Hypnotism by prescription, 199 

dangers of, 60, 120 

safeguards to, 120 

stages of, 51, 55, 341 

theories of. 53, 130, 250 
Hypnotic will case, the, 368 
Hypochondriasis, 18, 79, 355 

cases of, 79, 276 
Hyslop, Dr. T. B., 97 
Hysteria and hypnotism, 56, 59, 

cases of, 262, 268, 329 
Hysterical joint, 328 

Idea, diseases dependent on, 17, 
82, 185, 328 

Imagination, influence in health 
and disease, 9, 17, 29, 80 

Imposture, 146, 342 

Imitation, effects of, 47 

Individuality in hypnosis, 1, 362 

Infantile paralysis, hypnotism in, 

Inflammation controlled by sug- 
gestion, 66 

Influence of the hypnotist, 120, 

Influence at a distance, 366 
Inhibition, 219, 230 
Insanity and hypnotism, 79, 84, 

Insomnia, case of, 292 
Insusceptibility to hypnotism, 

109, 154, 165 
Intermittent fever, hypnotism in, 

Italian researches, 169 

Jackson, Dr. Hughlings, 239 
Journals, hypnotic, 5 

Kingsbury, Dr., 4, 198, 239, 

Kleptomania, cases of, 107, 317 
Krafft-Ebing, Professor von, 192, 


Lauder Brunton, Sir T., on in- 
hibition, 230 
Laura Bridgman, case of, 36 
Lethargy, hypnotic, 55, 256 



Leucomaines, 235 
Licbeault's classification, 341 

discovery, 1 

dispensary. 47 

theory, 261 
Liegeois, Professor, 3. 360 
Literature, recent, 4 
Locomotor ataxy, cases of, 176, 

Louis \ , case of, 91 

Luys : mirror, 334 

transfer treatment by, 351 

Magnetism, animal, 1, 49, 1 10, 

174. 357 

Magnets, influence of. 353 

Mania, case of, 291 

Masturbation, cases of, 308 

Melancholia, hypnotism in, 171, 

Memory in hypnosis, 73, 129, 361 
latent, 74. 100. 246 

Menorrhagia, case of, 274 

Menstruation, disorders of, 61 

Mercier, Dr., 25, 244 

Methods of hypnotizing, 49, 138, 
152, 162, 345 

Miowifery, hypnotism in, 198, 218, 

Mind cure, 20, 46, 355 

Miracle cures, 29, 46 

Mischievous child, case of, 320 

Moll, Dr. Albert, 3, 164 

Monoideism and hypnotism, 126 

Moral insanity. 86, 107 

Morphia habit treated by hyp- 
notism, 215 

Morselli, Professor, 4, 242 

Myers, Dr. A. T., 3, 196 
Mr. F. W. H., 6, 87, 337 

Nail-biting cured by suggestion, 

105, 183, 320 
Nancy, school of, 56 
Negative hallucinations, 137, 339 
Nerve energy, 53, 226 

habit, 229 
Neuralgia, cases of, 54, 188, 272, 

Neurasthenia, h\pnotism in, 199 

cases of, 202 283, 293. 311 
Neurons, arrangement of, 327 
Nutrition in hypnosis. 244, 252 

Obscene obsession treated by 
hypnotism, 168 

Organic disease, hypnotism in, 

65, 176, 180 
Osgood, Dr. Hamilton, 4, 65, 190 
Ovarian troubles, hypnotism in, 

Paralysis caused by suggestion. 

cases treated by suggestion, 

Permanence of results, 108, 153 
Personality, change of, by hyp- 
notism, 100, 108 
double, 90, 97, 141 
Phantom limb, cases of, 327 
Physiology of hypnotism, 129, 

Pitres. Professor, 6, 228 
Post - hypnotic suggestion, 71, 

Precautions in use of hypnotism, 

120. 364 
Prejudice against hypnotism, 154, 

Preyer, Professor, 131, 257 
Prince, Dr. Morton. 98 
Protection of subjects, 121 
Psychical states and organic 

functions, 32. 81, 193 
Psychical Research, Society for, 

6, 354 
Prolonged hypnosis, treatment by, 
179, 291 

Quackery and suggestion, 15, 330 
Qualifications of hypnotist, 154 

Rapport, hypnotic, 150 
Report of British Medical Asso- 
ciation Committee on Hypno- 
tism, 372 
Resistance to hypnotism, 166 

to suggestion, 172, 363 
Respiration in hypnosis, 258 
Retinitis, syphilitic, case of, 288 
Rheumatism, hypnotism in, 61, 

cases of, 270, 304 
Reynolds, Sir J. Russell, 18 

Sciatica, cases of, 272, 303 
Sea-sickness, hypnotism in, 190 
Senses, abnormal acuteness of, 

Sexual perversion, hypnotism in, 




Simulation in hypnotism, 146 
Skin diseases treated by sugges- 
tion, 190 
Sleep and hypnosis compared, 

Sleeplessness, cases of, 268, 

Sneezing, paroxysmal, case of, 

Somnambulism, hypnotic, 59, 

150,234, 338 
spontaneous, 38, 99 
Sphygmographic tracings in hyp- 
nosis, 258 
Spinal irritation, case of, 301 
Spine, railway, 65 
Spiritualism and hypnotism, 8 
Stammering, hypnotism in, 182 
Statistics, hypnotic, 58, 159, 161, 

Stigmata, 68, 193 
Sturges, Dr. Russell, 81 
Suggestion without hypnotism, 63, 

in surgical operations, 16 • 
Surgery, hypnotism in, 189, 198 
Subliminal consciousness, 337 

Tamburini, Professor, 254 

Tarchanoff, Professor, on inhibi- 
tion, 225 

Temperature affected by sugges- 
tion, 68 

Theories regarding hypnotism, 
53, 130, 280 

Thought transference and hypno- 
tism, 366, 369 

Time, appreciation of, in hypnosis, 

Tobacco habit cured by hypno- 
tism, 85, 310 
Torticollis, case of, 297 
Touch, healing by royal, 29 
Transfer, treatment by, 351 

Van Eeden, Dr., cases by, 278 
Van Renterghem, Dr., 157, 201 
Vaso-motor system, effects of 

hypnotism in, 49, 68 
Vincent, Dr. Ralph, 4, 104, 350 
Vivi-sepulture, 27 
Voisin, Dr. Auguste, 166, 252 
Vomiting caused by suggestion, 
16, 67, 312 
cured by suggestion, 201, 

Warmth by suggestion, 48, 149 
Warts, cure of, by suggestion, 

Waste products, effects of, 235 
Weir-Mitchell treatment, 117 
Wetterstrand's, Dr., clinique, 156, 

Will, curative action of, 11, 358 
free, and hypnotism, 105, 138, 
Wingfield, Dr. Hugh, 59, 103 
Wood, Dr. Outterson, 121, 290 
Woods, Dr. J. F., 5, 84, 200 
Writer's cramp, cases of, 269, 


Yeo, Dr. Gerald, theory of, 130 
Yung, Professor, experiments of, 
33 l 

Zones, hypnogenic, 228 


Baillicre, Tindall and Cox, King William Street, Strand, 





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